Few Contractors Are Confident About the Future Thanks to COVID-19
Contractors are not anticipating a bright foreseeable future, at least for the time being, thanks to COVID-19. According to a recent report from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), its Construction Confidence Index (CCI), reached an all-time low in readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with all three scores plummeting below the threshold of 50.
Results from ABC's 11-day survey showed less than 30% of respondents expecting an increase in sales over the next six months. While more than 54% anticipated sales would slightly increase in January, the same contractors felt differently in February when only 24.5% still believed sales would see an increase. In regards to the CCI, ABC reported the following:
- Sales expectations decreased from 68.3 to 38.1.
- Profit margin expectations decreased from 61.9 to 36.6.
- Staffing levels decreased from 69 to 45.2.
"In the course of a month, construction industry confidence has shifted from ecstatic to utterly dismayed," ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in the press release. "If anything, confidence is likely to decline further as construction industry leaders come to terms with the full extent of the COVID-19 crisis. The finances of key sources of demand for construction services, including commercial real estate investment trusts, state and local governments, retailers and hoteliers, have been savaged by the crisis, translating into fewer funds available to finance construction."
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate