Nonresidential construction index hits record high
FMI's nonresidential construction index improved two points to 60.1 for the second quarter, but concerns remain about the effects of sequestration on public and private construction.
FMI announced the release of the 2013 Second Quarter Nonresidential Construction Index report. The NRCI score of 60.1 is a 2-point improvement over Q1 and the highest score for the NRCI index since its inception in Q1 2009.
This isn’t a bullish trend yet, but it demonstrates that the nonresidential construction market continues to push upward. The index for the overall economy rose 7.9 points and the combined index sentiment for economies where panelists are doing business rose 5.8 points. Current issues for the Q2 NRCI include the effects of sequestration on public and private construction. The majority of the respondents expect only a 0% to 4% reduction in their public works projects due to sequestration.
Panelists for this quarter’s NRCI also responded to questions about potential labor shortages after losing more than 30% of the construction labor force during the recession. The majority of panelists reported few labor shortages at this time. Looking at a year from now, 22% of panelists expect severe shortages for construction laborers, as well as shortages for select tradespeople.