Expectations for 2017 have become less optimistic, but the majority of industrial and commercial construction contractors still expect growth this year, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
Although all three indices in the survey – profit margins, sales and staffing levels – fell by more than five points, they remain well above the threshold of 50, which signals that construction activity will continue to be one of the few significant drivers of economic growth.
“There may be a period during which the pro-business agenda being forwarded in Washington, D.C., will significantly impact construction firm expectations,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “In fact, many construction executives have become more confident, including those who would stand to benefit most directly from an infrastructure package.
“However, there is a realization among construction firms that, if implemented, many of these pro-business initiatives would begin impacting the economy beyond the six-month timeframe built into ABC’s construction confidence survey.”
Basu says, builders’ confidence appears, for now, to be supported less by policymaking, than by an ongoing momentum of the national construction industry.