Q1 2012 construction outlook report released
Construction is estimated to improve 5% from 2011; nonresidential construction is projected to improve 4% in 2012, topping $341 billion.
FMI has released its Q1 2012 Construction Outlook Report. FMI's forecast for total construction put in place in 2012 is a 5% increase compared to 2011, or $826.3 billion. The last time construction put in place was at this level was 2000-2001.
Despite slow growth projections and rising gasoline prices, the GDP is still growing and consumers are still spending, reflected in the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index increasing to 70.8 in February compared to 70.4 a year ago. Along with the Federal Reserve's intervention, these factors have served to keep growth slow and inflation in check.
Projections indicate a 4% increase in nonresidential buildings for 2012, topping $341 billion, with slightly higher growth in 2013 to $361 billion. Nonresidential contractors are facing many of the same problems as residential contractors. In addition, competition is fierce, with low price still the name of the game. Project owners who are ready to restart their building programs are expecting hungry contractors to submit very low bids. One of the keys for growth will be the return of private investment in construction. Additionally, federal, state and local government construction have been dialed back until budgets are in better repair and tax revenues return to levels that are more normal. Research indicates that there are signs this is starting to happen.
The full report can be found here.
- Edited by Chris Vavra, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, www.csemag.com
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.