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Construction Contractors Lose Confidence in June

U.S. construction industry leaders are somewhat less confident about near-term prospects for nonresidential construction but remain reasonably upbeat, according to the June 2019 Construction Confidence Index released Aug. 22 by Associated Builders and Contractors.

While contractors are less optimistic regarding sales, profits and staffing levels on a monthly basis, all three principal components measured by the survey remained well above the diffusion index threshold of 50 in June. Nearly 67 percent of contractors expect sales to rise during the next six months, while more than 59 percent expect staffing levels to increase and 54 percent expect profit margins to expand.

  • The CCI for sales expectations decreased from 70 to 65.3 in June.

  • The CCI for profit margin expectations fell from 62.8 to 61.3.

  • The CCI for staffing levels fell from 66.8 to 64.6.

“Economists near and far are searching for signs of the next economic downturn,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Among the signals are increasingly volatile financial markets, an inverted yield curve, unemployment that sits meaningfully below its natural rate and a variety of indicators suggesting that the global economy continues to soften. Many economists continue to predict recession within the next one to two years.


“Therefore, when there is positive news on the economy, whether in the form of solid job creation numbers, strong retail sales or the Construction Confidence Index, it is worth taking note,” said Basu. “While many will continue to fret about the impacts of ongoing trade disputes, rising levels of indebtedness, Brexit, Iran and other forces, nonresidential construction is positioned to remain a driver of positive economic growth.


CCI is a diffusion index. Readings above 50 indicate growth, while readings below 50 are unfavorable.

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