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Construction Confidence in New Business, Revenue Rattled in Second Quarter

Many construction jobs are still deemed essential during this time of economic uncertainty; however, that doesn't mean the industry is thriving. According to the latest results from the USG and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI), contractors' confidence in both new business and revenue expectations saw a significant decline between the first and second quarter of 2020.

In the June CCI report, a mere 16% of contractors said they are highly confident in new business opportunities in the coming year—a drastic drop from the 54% who said the same last quarter. Project delays are also particularly prominent among nine out of 10 respondents, the report states, with 87% and 73% anticipating delays through the summer and the fall, respectively.

"Even as most construction has been deemed essential during the last few months, the loss of new projects and revenue has been severe. This industry is key to our economy, representing 3 million American jobs and $700 billion in spending," said Christopher Griffin, president and CEO of USG Corp., in a press release. "We're watching closely signs of improvement, as commercial construction can serve as a bellwether for other economic development and recovery."

Yet, the report wasn't all bad news as three out of four contractors said they have moderate-to-high confidence in next year's new business opportunities. Although no industry is immune to the pandemic's impact, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said, commercial construction "appears posed for a quick recovery and a return to growth."

—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate

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Friday, 23 October 2020