2021 Heavy Civil Construction Index: First Quarter Report

The first quarter 2021 Heavy Civil Construction Index shows improving sentiment, increasing from 43.3 to 44.9. However, the measure remains below 50, suggesting a continued pessimistic outlook. Compared to last quarter, the general U.S. and regional economic outlooks retreated, while the book-to-burn metrics improved.

Continued relaxation of government mandated closures, increased hope for improving vaccination efforts, and the prospects for ongoing and increased government investment have not been enough to counter economic anxiety.

Though it is encouraging to find most contractors adding backlog faster than they are burning it, with only one-third experiencing a decline in this ratio, the trend may be a result of slower burn rates during winter months or an urgent effort to add backlog.

Survey findings also show that 85% of respondents are seeing an increase in competition and 60% are seeing lower bid prices, raising concerns about potential panic bidding scenarios.

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