THE 2004 outlook indicates that construction industry leaders are significantly more positive about the industry's prospects than at any time since 1999, according to the annual forecast by CIT Equipment Finance, Tempe, Arizona.
Of nine regions surveyed, eight showed double-digit improvements in optimism.
“This year's CIT Construction Industry Forecast tells a much different story than last year's,” said Roy Keller, CIT Equipment Finance president. “The overall year-over-year growth in optimism was the most impressive in the 28-year history of the Forecast as sentiment significantly rebounded from last year's levels to figures not seen since 1999. This bodes well for the entire construction industry as the Forecast has traditionally been a consistent and accurate predictor of what lies ahead.”
Now in its 28th year, the CIT Construction Industry Forecast independently surveys construction executives on their perceptions of the state of the industry and trends for the coming year. Over 900 contractors and equipment distributors were surveyed via telephone interviews across the country.
The Optimism Quotient (OQ) is the forecast's primary indicator for assessing and comparing the respondents' level of confidence in the health of the construction industry. The OQ is a weighted and averaged number that expresses construction executives' perceptions of the industry's prospects for the coming year.
Generally, a number of 100 or higher indicates strong optimism in the industry's one-year outlook while a number below 100 indicates a more cautious projection.
The 2004 Construction Industry Forecast's overall optimism quotient jumped 14 points from last year's 89 to 103, the highest level since 2000 when the forecast accurately predicted a softening in the construction industry.
The OQ for contractors and distributors rose 13 and 16 points, respectively.