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Commercial Construction Contractors Remain Confident Under Trump


Commercial construction contractors are confident in the trajectory of the industry, as demand continues to increase, according to a new economic indicator released Thursday.

Ninety-six percent of contractors surveyed for the USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index expect revenues to grow or remain stable in 2017 compared to 2016. Forty percent of contractors surveyed expected an increase in revenue, with only 3 percent expecting a decrease.

The index is a new quarterly economic indicator designed to identify trends, challenges and opportunities in the commercial construction industry. The survey asks contractors to report back on three metrics: backlog, perspective on new business and revenue forecast.

Two-thirds of contractors surveyed said they expect to employ more workers in the next six months, but almost just as many contractors reported difficulty with finding suitable workers for open positions.

“The commercial construction industry is a vital engine for the American economy,” Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. “The projected growth uncovered in this research is good news for employers and workers, but there is reason for concern in the lack of qualified talent available in vital specialties.”

The news survey will be rolled out each quarter to better understand the state of the commercial construction industry in America.

The construction industry is closely following developments surrounding a federal infrastructure bill. The industry is hopeful that President Donald Trump will follow through on his promises of cutting government red tape and investing in shovel ready projects.

“We’ve allowed the government to get too big,” West Virginia Republican Rep. David McKinley said Thursday at a breakfast unveiling the new Index. McKinley railed against the Environmental Protection Agency and other government regulatory bodies that often stall construction projects and pump up costs.

McKinley discussed the Congressional Building Trades Caucus, a bi-partisan caucus he co-founded with New Jersey Democratic Rep. Donald Norcross. The caucus is working with contractors on a number of key legislative provisions tied to a potential federal infrastructure bill.

The confidence among commercial construction contractors that the future is bright for their industry matches the attitude of American manufacturers.

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