Although presidential election years traditionally cause a small amount of investment upheaval and a large amount of uncertainty, construction leaders overwhelmingly are expecting continued growth to the end of the year and into 2021.
Those responses, as recorded in the 2020 Construction Industry Forecast and published by Wells Fargo and Company, show an overall industry optimism quotient of 99, significantly above the survey’s baseline quotient of 75.
Even so, the 2020 responses are down from last year’s 122 optimism quotient. The quotient average for the last three years is 126.
At the same time the survey reveals that 54 percent of respondents expect to see the industry expand in the next two years, up from 51 percent who said the same thing last year.
Measuring the responses of 305 construction industry officials in 47 states, the survey also points the way to continued steady nonresidential growth well into 2021.
As for the election, some 90 percent of respondents indicated that the presidential contest will have either a great deal or somewhat of an impact on the industry.
A majority of the respondents also said they are planning to buy the same amount or even more equipment for the duration of the year over what they purchased in 2019, even though at the same time the equipment dealers themselves were less optimistic about their market than they were a year ago.
“As it stands now, spending remains strong and builders are optimistic,” James Heron, construction group manager for Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, said in a statement.
Just over 40 percent of the construction leaders responding to the survey were based in the South, 26 percent located in the West. The remaining 32 percent were based either in the Midwest or Northeast.
By Garry Boulard
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