In a just-released survey, the Nashville-based Thompson Research Group is reporting that planned construction projects, or those in the pipeline, have slowed for the third quarter in a row.
The survey also indicated that the backlog of projects for construction companies remains generally flat, if not lower than usual, with only public construction projects showing a marginal increase.
Averaging all of the numbers out, the Thompson group thinks overall projects by the end of the year will almost certainly be lower than what they were at the end of 2019, with a challenging picture in the offing for next year.
Says a summation of the survey: Covid 19 has proven the “greatest driver of delayed/extended projects,” transforming earlier stated “visibility and optimism into pessimism and uncertainty.”
Despite that bleak appraisal, a summation of the survey suggests that there are more than likely enough planned projects for most contractors extending to the end of this year.
But what follows in 2021 appears volatile: “There is less work in the pipeline to bid on, which is pressuring contractors’ ability to build backlog and replace the projects that are being completed.”
An unexpected upside: “The delays of projects will pressure 2020 activity, but potentially help cushion the blow to 2021 expected activity.”
The survey also indicates that 92% of respondents said they have experienced an impact due to the pandemic in the third quarter of this year, slightly down from the 94% recorded this summer.
A sweeping 97% of respondents said they anticipate the pandemic will be playing a major factor in slowing down projects in the next four to six months, an increase from the 65% who said the same thing in the firm’s summer survey.
By Garry Boulard
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