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Cautious Optimism? AGC Reports on 2013 Construction Outlook


The AGC of America recently published Tentative Signs of a Recovery:  The 2013 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook.  The report highlighted the following in regards to construction firms throughout the United States for 2013:

  • Significantly more firms plan to hire than reduce staff, especially compared to recent years.
  • Contractors are more optimistic that demand for private sector projects will increase.
  • In contrast, contractors predict demand for many types of public construction will decline.
  • Continuing a trend over the past several years, firms plan on increasing health insurance and materials costs.
  • Tight credit policies are still expected to delay or possibly cancel customer projects.
  • Except for highway contractors, overall demand for purchased construction equipment will not increase.  However, the outlook for leased equipment is much higher in 2013 vs. 2012.
  • Demand for green construction is not expected to increase.
  • Firms are planning to invest in information technology.

The results for Washington State followed suit with the rest of the country.  Specifically, highway, transportation, public building and water and sewer projects were expected to decrease in 2013.  However, projects from the manufacturing, hospital/higher education and retail/warehouse/lodging sectors are generally expected to increase or stay the same.  Similar to predictions for the entire country, firms in Washington State look for the construction market to grow again in 2014.

Washington Construction Outlook Survey – http://www.agc.org/galleries/news/2013_Outlook_Survey_Washington.pdf

2013 Hiring and Business Outlook – http://www.agc.org/galleries/news/2013_Construction_Hiring_and_Business_Outlook_Report.pdf