Construction Industry Confidence Index Jumps in Second Quarter

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It has not been an easy five years for the construction industry. The recession of 2008 hit nearly every market sector and region in the country. Recovery has been slow. For years, forecasters have searched in vain for signs that the worst of the recession is in the rearview mirror, reports Engineering News-Record.

The most recent ENR Construction Industry Confidence Index survey may be that sign. It shows the industry believes the market has turned a corner and is beginning, in fits and starts, to recover in a broad way. The second-quarter 2013 CICI rose to a record 69 points on a scale of 100, which represents a growing market. The vast majority of the 310 executives of large construction and design firms responding to the survey believe the market has stabilized. Only 11% believe the market is currently in decline, while 46% believe it is growing.

The CICI measures executive sentiment about the current market and reflects their views on where it will be in the next three to six months and over a 12- to 18-month period. The index is based on responses to surveys sent out to more than 3,000 U.S. firms on ENR’s lists of the leading contractors, subcontractors and design firms. The latest results are based on a survey conducted from May 30 to June 10.

More significant than their optimism about the industry in general, the surveyed industry executives believe virtually all the market sectors measured by the CICI are now in growth mode. For the CICI survey, execs were asked to assess current and future market prospects in general and any of 15 market sectors in which they currently work. For 14 of the survey’s 15 markets, more executives saw growth in their particular market sector than those in the same sector saw decline. Further, the one exception—the environmental market—has execs evenly split on whether it is growing or declining. However, current confidence levels are now high in all 15 market sectors measured by the CICI survey.

Another positive sign is that, for the first time, all market sectors had a CICI rating over 50, indicating expected market growth over the next 18 months. Multi-unit residential ranked as the highest-rated market, with a CICI rating of 79, followed by petroleum at 77; the power market and the hospital and health-care market tied at 67. Executives ranked the environmental market as the weakest, with a CICI rating of 53.  Read More.