Avoiding the clouds- man looks thoughtfully skyward

Avoiding the clouds of economic uncertainty is sometimes an exercise in staying flexible, planning well and listening to your own local market. (Image credit: stevanovicigor / 123RF Stock Photo)

In a recent Wells Fargo survey of construction executives, a majority of execs (61%) held on to a perception that construction wouldn’t be out of downturn territory until late in 2013. In 2011 82.2% said the downturn would last at least another year. So, execs are getting more confident.

Despite business improvements in the overall construction industry, contractors and equipment distributors expect the overall downturn in the construction industry to last at least until late 2013, according to the latest Construction Executive Survey from Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, part of Wells Fargo & Company. Conducted in August, the quarterly survey recorded the responses of approximately 250 construction industry executives across the U.S.

Here are some highlights of the Q3-2012 Construction Executive Survey as reported by Wells Fargo:

  • Construction activity improved: Nearly half of construction executives (47.8%) said construction activity was “somewhat higher” or “much higher” than a year ago. In the 2011 survey, 38.4% said activity was higher and in 2010, only 28.5% said activity had improved over the previous year.
  • But full recovery could take a while: Although executives acknowledge year-over-year improvement in construction activity, a full 61.0% said the downturn in the U.S. construction industry will not be over for at least another year. In the 2011 survey, that number was 82.2%.
  • Job growth is tentative: 43.6% of the construction executives said their company is not hiring new employees within the next six months. While 41.0% said their company would hire some workers in the short term, 15.5% said they may or will have to reduce their workforce.
  • Prices are rising: Four out of five respondents (80.5%) said they are seeing “somewhat higher” or “much higher” equipment prices compared to a year ago. More than 75% (76.2%) said that prices for materials are “somewhat higher” or “much higher” than a year ago.

The Q3-2012 Construction Executive Survey continues the longstanding practice by Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Inc. and its predecessors to publish primary research findings for the construction industry. To access the complete report, please visit: https://www.wellsfargo.com/com/financing/equipment-financing/publications



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