U.S. Contractors Confident for 2019 But Threats to Growth Loom

By on January 15, 2019

From ConstructConnect:  American general contractors (GCs) are generally positive about the prospects for growth in their sector in 2019, according to a recent survey, but officials with the Associated General Contractors of America, who spoke during a recent presentation, identified a number of threats that could act as brakes.

The survey of more than 1,300 GCs was taken in October and November, before the recent partial government shutdown took effect. Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, said during the Jan. 2 live-streamed presentation he felt the shutdown has not yet affected the construction sector given that such major programs as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects and federal highway construction are not affected.

But the longer the shutdown goes, it might, said Sandherr.

The CEO also identified unresolved trade issues with China and an infrastructure funding impasse in Congress as other potential threats to the sector.

“If Washington officials can’t find a way to work together to continue needed regulatory reforms and enact new infrastructure funding, many contractors’ more optimistic expectations will not be met,” he said.

Both Democrats and Republicans agree on the need for more infrastructure spending, he said, but no one is willing to commit to specific spending measures to get it done.

“There is bipartisan talk of infrastructure needs but as far as paying for it, that for now remains elusive,”said Sandherr.

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