Alabama Construction News

OCT-DEC 2018

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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Page 18 of 67

17 OCT-DEC 2018 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS in creating economic growth is also apparent in the data," said Basu. "Contractors operating in tech-laden communities like San Jose, California; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Provo/Salt Lake, Utah; and elsewhere continue to report very strong backlog. Given announcements of new, large-scale data centers and tech campuses, technology is positioned to be an ongoing driver of demand for construction services. "During the first quarter we noted that there had been a significant uptick in survey participation that could have affected our findings due to shifting participant composition," said Basu. "The second quarter was also characterized by elevated participation levels. It appears that higher participation is now the norm, and that the addition of survey participants has only served to render CBI a more reliable indicator." HIGHLIGHTS BY REGION Backlog in the South increased by more than one month on a quarterly basis and now sits just below its all-time high established during the third quarter of 2017. Construction backlog expansion continues to be driven by the usual suspects, including rapidly expanding metropolitan areas like Dallas and Austin, Texas; Atlanta; Orlando and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. BUILDING ALABAMA | INDUSTRY OUTLOOK & TRENDS Backlog in the Northeast rose to its highest level on record. Predictably, backlog growth continues to be led by strong commercial segments in the New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. There is also growing evidence of stronger construction activity in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. The exception to the general trend of growing backlog is the Middle States, where backlog is down 0.7 months on a year-over-year basis. Many factors are at work, including relatively softer employment growth in the Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis metropolitan areas. This is the part of the country that is most vulnerable to low agricultural commodity prices, which continue to restrain overall economic performance in states like Iowa and Nebraska. Led by technology segments, backlog in the West continues to surge, up by an astonishing 3.9 months over the past year. Contractors in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; San Jose and Los Angeles, California; Denver; Salt Lake City; Boise, Idaho; and Phoenix can expect to remain ultra-busy for the foreseeable future, strongly suggesting that human capital shortfalls will continue to worsen. HIGHLIGHTS BY INDUSTRY Backlog in the commercial/institutional segment rebounded during the second quarter, increasing to 10.1 months. Backlog in Year-over-Year CBI Map of Regions and Backlog Months Second Quarter 2017 vs. Second Quarter 2018 WEST Q2 2017: 6.82 months Q2 2018: 10.69 months SOUTH Q2 2017: 9.01 months Q2 2018: 11.18 months MIDDLE STATES Q2 2017: 7.91 months Q2 2018: 7.23 months 3.87 months 2.17 months NORTHEAST Q2 2017: 9.70 months Q2 2018: 10.40 months 0.70 months -0.68 months *Includes Alaska and Hawaii

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