Ninety-five percent of 206 respondents expect revenue to grow or
remain stable over the next 12 months, the survey by USG Corp <USG.N>
and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed.
Ninety-three percent expect profit margins to stay the same or
increase in the next 12 months, a sign of healthy contractor
sentiment, the survey conducted July 12-19 showed.
In a potential sign that the U.S. economy may weaken, 53 percent
of contractors expect to employ more workers in the next six
months, down from 66 percent in the second quarter. This aligns
with other studies that show a strong market, but with some
tempering of projected growth, the report said.
However, 54 percent of contractors express a high degree of
confidence in opportunities for new business over the next 12
months, while 97 percent have at least moderate confidence.
The survey shows strong optimism about the construction
industry's prospects but skilled labor shortages and its impact
on the industry need to be addressed, said Jennifer Scanlon,
president and chief executive of USG Corp, in a statement.
Results from three gauges of confidence in the commercial
construction industry – order backlogs, the pipeline for new
business and revenue forecasts - comprise the Commercial
Construction Index, which scored 73 in the third quarter, within
three points of the two previous surveys.
The survey was started earlier this year to review the financial
health and construction outlook for the five traditional
commercial property sectors of office, retail, hotel, large
apartment and warehousing, as well as other types of buildings,
such as government and transportation.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Richard Chang)
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