Commercial Construction Index shows growth

June 15, 2017 -  By


Commercial construction is in high demand across the country, and contractors are confident in the trajectory of the industry, according to the inaugural USG and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index. Commercial construction is a leading indicator for the landscape industry.

Ninety-six percent of contractors surveyed expect revenues to grow or remain stable this year. Forty percent expect an increase and only 3 percent expect a decrease in revenue.

The commercial construction industry is a vital engine for the American economy,” said Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “The projected growth uncovered in this research is good news for employers and workers, but there is reason for concern in the lack of qualified talent available in vital specialties.”

Two-thirds of contractors said they expect employe more workers in the next six months, which indicates growth in an economic sector that employs about 3 million Americans. However, 61 percent of respondents said they were having difficulty finding skilled workers, particularly in the concrete, interior finishes/millwork, masonry, electrical and plumbing trades.

“To get our economy growing to its full potential, we must ensure that we have a workforce that is ready to fill the available jobs,” said Donohue. “Each quarter, this first-of-its-kind research will make us smarter about future challenges and inform solutions for our country’s leaders.”

The index looks at the results of three leading indicators—backlog levels, new business opportunities and revenue forecasts—to create a composite index on a scale of 0-100. This should serve as an indicator of health for the construction contractor segment on a quarterly basis.

The Q2 2017 composite index score was 76, which the USG and U.S. Chamber of Commerce consider healthy. Driven by a bump in the ration between actual and ideal backlog, his score is two points higher than the Q1 survey, which was 74. New business and revenue results also saw increases over Q1.

The Index is a new quarterly economic indicator designed to track the trends, challenges and opportunities facing the commercial construction industry, which plays a vital role in the U.S. economy and many other ancillary industries.

This first-of-its-kind Index was born out of a need to understand the issues that affect commercial construction,” said Jennifer Scanlon, president and chief executive officer of USG Corporation. “The Index will deliver critical insights into the future health of the industry.”

USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce tapped Dodge Data & Analytics to develop the research. The data relies on surveys of 2,700 commercial and institutional construction contractors.

“USG is committed to providing solutions for our customers in order to help the entire industry make strong contributions to the U.S. economy,” said Scanlon. “Through the Index we are able to identify areas of strength and pinpoint areas of improvement where industry leaders must focus.”

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