Canadian Consulting Engineer

U.S. construction market gets mixed messages

While PSMJ reports that architecture and engineering firms in the U.S. are suffering as a result of the econom...

May 10, 2010   Canadian Consulting Engineer

While PSMJ reports that architecture and engineering firms in the U.S. are suffering as a result of the economic decline, other forecasters are determined to be upbeat about the construction industry.
The U.S.-based business management advisors, PSMJ, has issued its 2010 Financial Performance Benchmark Report, and found that operating profits had dropped 19 per cent over last year, and gross revenues decreased by 7 per cent. Backlogs have decreased by 5 per cent for the median firm by the end of 2009, and staff size fell by 7.5 per cent. Some firms reported reducing their staff by more than 25 per cent. Meanwhile overhead rates had increased.
The PSMJ survey was based on the performance of more than 200 design firms. PSMJ said they did not expect a full economic recovery for “several years in the future.” See www.psmj.com.
However, Data Connections, a newsletter by Reed Construction Data, said in its May issue that construction firms should be preparing for an expanding market and expanding bid opportunities, with “GDP growth … forecast to average about 2.5% for the balance of 2010.”
The Portland Cement Association based in Illinois expects “gains to materialize in the second half of 2010.” The association says in a May 4 announcement: “PCA anticipates a modest five per cent increase in consumption over severely depressed 2009 levels…. A 13.3 per cent jump is predicted for 2011, followed by an 18.7 per cent increase in 2012.”

 

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