It is no secret that the overall U.S. economy continues to face a great deal of uncertainty and that is creating an environment that doesn’t lend itself well to much near-term optimism. However, in the architecture and engineering community a story of slow and steady growth and optimism is beginning to emerge.
According to the latest Quarterly Market Trends (QMT) report from PSMJ Resources, Inc., firm leaders have good reason to start thinking that brighter days are ahead. Since 2003, PSMJ has surveyed A/E firm leaders on a quarterly basis regarding what they are seeing in the marketplace. The survey queries respondents on conditions in a variety of markets and submarkets as well as overall health of revenue, backlog, and proposal activity. The results of this survey are compiled in the QMT report each quarter. Some of the key findings of the latest July 2011 QMT report include:
• Backlog growth accelerated, continuing the trend we have seen for the past four quarters.
• Revenue growth also accelerated, following the trend in backlog growth.
• Proposal opportunities were greater than last quarter, continuing a trend that has seen increasing proposal opportunities for the past nine quarters.
• Some of the major A/E markets, such as Housing, Commercial Developers, Industry, Energy/Utilities, Water/Wastewater, Environmental, Transportation, and Health Care, showed more proposal opportunities this quarter than last quarter.
• Proposal opportunities increased in every region. The highest rates of increase were in the Mountain Region, South Region, West Region and Canada.
Despite the encouraging news coming out of PSMJ’s latest QMT report, pockets of softness remain. More specifically, the Education and Government Buildings markets showed declining proposal opportunities. In addition, while overall proposal opportunities continue the upward movement, the rate of growth is slowing.
“This might be surprising for those who are focused on market segments that continue to struggle, but we are hearing more and more from firm leaders saying that things seem to be picking up” states Gregory Hart, a Consultant with PSMJ. “With unemployment rates creeping back up and concerns about the United States’ debt burden, there is reason for concern at the most macro level. However, the fundamentals that drive the A/E industry seem to gradually coming back to life. This growing confidence will continue to drive M&A activity and begin to get stalled ownership succession efforts moving again.” Read More.