This quarter’s questions polled participants about capacity, backlog and hiring goals for 2021. Respondents were also asked to identify the current top economic risks and challenges as well as their top political and regulatory concerns for 2021.
Key findings from this quarter’s survey include:
- Sentiment is improving, increasing from 43.3 to 44.9. However, the measure remains below 50, suggesting a continued pessimistic outlook.
- Compared to last quarter, the general U.S. and regional economic outlooks retreated, while the book to burn metrics improved. Continued relaxation of government-mandated closures, increased hope for improving vaccination efforts, and the prospects for ongoing and increased government investment have not been enough to counter economic anxiety.
- Though it is encouraging to find most contractors adding backlog faster than they are burning it, with only one-third experiencing a decline in this ratio, the trend may be a result of slower burn rates during winter months or an urgent effort to add backlog.
- Survey findings also show that 85% of respondents are seeing an increase in competition and 60% are seeing lower bid prices, raising concerns about potential panic bidding scenarios.
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Liz Hester, FMI
SOURCE FMI Corporation