Nonresidential Construction Index fourth quarter index drops

Concerns about the economic problems in Europe as well as political infighting in Washington drops the Nonresidential Construction Index from 52.4 to 50.3 for the fourth quarter.


FMI announced the release of its Nonresidential Construction Index (NRCI) report for the fourth quarter of 2011. The NRCI slipped from 52.4 to a barely positive 50.3 this quarter. While the stock market continues its gyrations from news surrounding the future of the Euro countries, the NRCI has managed glacial growth, chugging along just above average for the last two years, average being little to no growth. The NRCI dropping to 50.3 this quarter is less a downward trend than a continuation of moderate growth.

Moderate growth does not mean there are not changes going on in nonresidential construction. In past issues, panelists’ expressed views on the increasing use of new methods and technologies like BIM, prefabrication, modularization, integrated project delivery, sustainable construction, as well as improved productivity and business development. Most contractors are better prepared to deal with these challenges than with abrupt changes in the economy.

Overwhelmingly, NRCI panelists do not expect the American Jobs Act and the related National Infrastructure Bank bill to pass as now proposed. Even with public construction as part of the AJA, few panelists expected that it would significantly increase their backlogs if passed.

This report also looks into a not-so-new problem, how to pay for rising health care insurance costs. The issue is resurfacing due to the introduction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Although the majority of NRCI panelists recognize they will have to share the skyrocketing costs of health care with employees, a few say they intend to drop their policies, pay the penalties and let employees fend for themselves. Twenty percent of panelists have yet to fully examine their options.

Bottom line, little to moderate growth for now. However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be significant changes in how the nonresidential construction industry conducts business over the coming months.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

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.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.