Contractors survey reveals improving construction market
The construction industry is on the road to recovery, according to results of the 33rd annual contractors survey conducted by Metal Construction News.
Most metrics improved from the previous year’s survey, including a 19.4% increase in the average annual gross contracting sales volume. The average job size barely increased during that same period, indicating the increase in sales came almost exclusively from the execution of more projects.
“Contractors also report that they believe 2014 will continue to improve, and when you dig down into the kinds of projects they are reporting on – metal buildings, metal roofing, metal wall panels and metal framing – we can see that across the board, they are optimistic about more work in those areas, with the biggest projected increase coming among the metal framing segment,” reports Editorial Director Paul Deffenbaugh. “The number of respondents expecting to do more than 50 projects in 2014 will increase significantly, and they report a huge increase in the average size of the project, indicating that among these particular types of projects, building size is increasing.”
But the survey results were not universally positive. In the institutional market segment, metal buildings decreased from 25% in 2012 to 20.5% in 2013. Metal roofing decreased from 34% to 22.9%. And in the government market segment, metal buildings decreased 35.7% to 17.9%, with metal roofing showing similar decreases. Institutional projects fell to 18.6% from 28%. And government work declined to 22.9% from 34%.
“This reflects market economists' reports that there is less work in these areas,” Deffenbaugh reports. “Certainly, with substantially decreased government spending at federal, state and local levels due to an increased focus on debt reduction, we can expect the government work to be slower going forward.”