In a just-released survey, construction finance officials throughout the country are expressing worries that the longest economic recovery in U.S. history may be coming to an end.
According to a quarterly index released by the Princeton, New Jersey-based Construction Financial Management Association, those same officials are also unnerved by the rising cost of delivering construction services.
The group’s latest index survey shows a general decline in industry confidence reported in June, but as pointed out by Anirban Basu, CFMA’s economic advisor, the real news is “what failed to happen as opposed to what did.”
Basu notes that a decline in industry confidence was initially recorded during the second quarter of 2017.
But while the June confidence index is down around 7 percent from what it was a year ago, the quarterly confidence index was marginally up by 1.8 percent.
That slight increase indicates that while public accountants, bankers, brokers, and others serving the construction industry remain pessimistic regarding longterm trends, the presence of current economic activity has somewhat tempered that pessimism.
Looking at the larger picture, finance officials believe that the industry’s current growth cycle will finally come to an end by at least 2021.
“Oddly enough, it is in part the current strength of the industry that could itself contribute to the cycle’s end,” adds Basu.
By Garry Boulard
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