Construction Industry Shows Optimism

Overall, the U.S.  construction market has experienced steady growth for the last few years as it recovers from the recession of 2008. Leading industry indicators point to a strong market in 2015.

“We are certainly seeing an increase in interest in construction projects from manufacturing companies, ” said Brian Gallagher, Director of Marketing for O’Neal, Inc., an integrated design and construction firm based in Greenville, SC. “Several of our clients are moving forward with capital investment in expansions and greenfield projects.

According to a recent study  by ENR, construction executives believe that growth will continue. ENR’s Construction Industry Confidence Index (CICI) survey for the fourth quarter of 2014  indicates that, of the 328 executives of large construction and design firms responding to the survey, most see the market as stable or growing. The CICI index remained steady at a record 77—on a scale of 100, an indicator of a growth market—in the fourth-quarter survey.

Key Industry Associations Forecast Growth in 2015

“The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) forecasts nonresidential construction spending will expand by roughly 7.5 percent next year,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The segments that will experience the largest growth in construction spending in 2015 include power (e.g. natural gas-related construction), lodging (leisure and business spending), office space (professional services employment creation) and manufacturing (rebounding industrial production).

Construction job growth is another indicator of a solid construction market growth. “Construction job growth remains positive overall but volatile,” said Ken Simonson, the the Associated General Contractor’s (AGC) chief economist. AGC officials said the best way to ensure more stability in the construction market was for Congress and the Obama administration to work together to fund needed repairs to aging roads, transit, clean water and other infrastructure systems.

The latest Confindex survey from the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA also reports growing optimism about 2015. CFMA polls 200 chief financial officers in general contractors, subcontractors and civil contractors. “Our Confindex rose by five points, to 132 [on a scale of 200], for the third quarter,” said Stuart Binstock, CEO of the CFMA.

Brian Gallagher