The FMI Nonresidential Construction Index Report (NRCI) for Q4 2015 says that nonresidential construction is experiencing a slowdown. The NRCI dropped four points to 59.5, the lowest score since Q4 in 2013.
Panelists displayed a declining outlook for the overall economy, which was down 12.3 points to 58.3 from Q3. The report found that the expectations of activity in economic sector and the expected change in backlog scores also fell, and the cost of construction material rose.
“Economic recovery momentum is losing steam and rising costs in labor and materials start to put a load on the industry,” Chris Daum, President and CEO of FMI, said in a statement. “Next year will likely be more challenging for industry growth than 2015. Firms that excel at recruiting and training the most skilled workforce will have a strategic edge in the marketplace.”
Key takeaways in the Q4 NRCI:
· The overall economy where panelists do business is down. Panelists’ business is slowing down with a grim outlook of the overall economy.
· Panelists’ construction business is slipping. Although the panelists’ expectation of their construction activities slipped by 5.8 points to 69.9, it shows residual recovery momentum.
· There is an expected drop in backlog. The measure of expected change in backlog dropped to 62.2 from last quarter’s 68.2, a median of the past 12 months.
· The cost of construction materials and labor is rising. The cost of labor and materials continues to go higher. Generally, it is expected that costs will rise as business improves, thus holding down the overall NRCI index number.