For the eighth year in a row, the nonresidential construction industry is poised for annual growth—at least, that’s the conclusion reached by the 2019 Wells Fargo Construction Industry Forecast.
The Forecast, which seeks out the opinions of selected contractors, equipment rental companies, and equipment manufacturers, distributors, and dealers, is seen as one of the most accurate predictors of short- and long-term shifts in the construction industry.
Key Data Uncovered by the 2019 Forecast
Some of the most notable data this survey revealed relates to the number of contractors who are planning to purchase equipment this year. A whopping 96 percent of contractors surveyed indicate they plan to purchase some new (or new-to-them) equipment in 2019, while 76 percent of this group will see more purchases this year than in 2018.
On the other end of the equipment spectrum, 92 percent of contractors who responded to the survey said that they plan on maintaining or increasing the number of times they rent equipment during the year. Nearly half of these respondents cited flexibility as the primary advantage of renting over purchasing.
This level of optimism is good news for just about anyone affiliated with the construction industry. But there are some signs of trouble on the horizon. Although 96 percent of survey respondents predicted that construction industry activity would maintain or expand in 2019, more than one in four (or 27 percent) said that they expected a contraction within two years, with only half of respondents predicting an expansion that lasts through 2020. Those in the construction industry will want to keep their ears to the ground to have plenty of advance notice of any layoffs or slowdowns coming their way.