Business and Finance

    Business Conditions for Civil Contractors Remain Positive

    Each issue of the Dodge publication Civil Quarterly surveys civil engineers to track a variety of business conditions. One useful indicator measures contractors’ backlog—more specifically the ratio between their ideal amount of backlog to the current reality. According to the most recent survey, backlogs remained strong throughout 2021, with most civil contractors reporting close to their ideal backlog. No consistent pattern of change has emerged, with backlog ratios increasing or decreasing, but always remaining at 80 or above.

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      Demographic Growth Slows, Population Shifts: What They Mean for Your Business

      By Richard Branch, Chief Economist One of the biggest concerns facing the construction sector is “people.” For most of us in the industry, that concern is centered on the acute lack of skilled labor facing the sector.  I think, though, the “people” concern goes deeper than that. At the end of the day, what we do is build things for people: homes, roads, schools, etc. However, population growth in the U.S. is slowing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, total… Read More »Demographic Growth Slows, Population Shifts: What They Mean for Your Business

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        Managing Through the Cycle for Construction Success With Steel

        Is uncertainty making it hard to plan for the future? Tabitha S. Stine, the director of construction solutions services at the steel and steel products company Nucor, has a strong sense of what the construction industry can expect. In her presentation for Outlook 2022, she draws connections between COVID-19, supply chain disruptions, the price of steel, and near- and mid-term prospects for the construction industry and the economy writ large. In the long-term, material prices continue to rise: From Jan.… Read More »Managing Through the Cycle for Construction Success With Steel

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          Did the Grinch Steal the Construction Recovery?

          By Richard Branch, Chief Economist As the calendar turns over to a new year, the recovery in construction starts is gaining traction. Through the first 11 months of 2021, total construction starts are up 13% on a year-to-date basis over 2020. Nonresidential building starts are up 11% thanks to gains in warehouse, recreation, and manufacturing starts. Residential building starts have risen an incredible 20% on a year-to-date basis as multifamily construction picks up speed, while single family pauses. Nonbuilding starts,… Read More »Did the Grinch Steal the Construction Recovery?

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            Adapt And Thrive In An Evolving Market

            While the quarantine from the pandemic is coming to an end, its impact on the construction sector will be felt for years to come. The nascent recovery in construction activity will be shaped by the numerous challenges facing the sector. But with every challenge, there is an opportunity that will allow your business to grow and increase profitability.

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              Unified, Trusted Big Data from Multiple Sources. When and Where It’s Needed

              Integrating, mastering and making sense of Big Data can be a Big Lift. Reltio can help. Reltio uses AI, machine learning, and Connected Graph technology to make internal and external data “insight ready” and usable in real-time by downstream applications and systems, and users such as Data Scientists and Marketing Teams. Join Reltio Program Director, Chas Kielt, for an evidence-based discussion about strategies for integrating and mastering high volumes of complex data from tens of thousands of internal and external… Read More »Unified, Trusted Big Data from Multiple Sources. When and Where It’s Needed

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                Managing Through the Cycle for Construction Success With Steel 

                In this session, we will do a deep dive into the drivers of construction costs, emphasizing how steel’s availability and raw material sourcing can be best understood to minimize risk, reduce project costs, and achieve success. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of emerging market growth opportunities and how to manage through the highs and lows of the construction cycle to win together. 

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                  2022 Construction Outlook: Four Factors to Consider

                  In his webinar forecast for the U.S. construction market in the coming year, Dodge chief economist Richard Branch notes four primary trends. First, the current material shortages and high prices, driven in large part by supply chain blockages, will remain issues. Second, labor shortages will continue to bedevil contractors. Third, productivity gains will drive profitability. And fourth, changing demographics, market shifts, and other externalities will necessitate flexibility.

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                    Hard Hat and a Hammer: Impacts of the Infrastructure Bill

                    By Richard Branch, Chief Economist On Friday, November 5, the House of Representatives passed the nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill, following months of uncertainty. Over the life of the funding, the programs will inject nearly $550 billion in new spending across a multitude of programs such as roads and bridges, water and sewer, broadband internet, rail, and enhancements to the electric grid. Additionally, the vote also approved a long-overdue five-year authorization for surface transportation (replacing the FAST Act) as well… Read More »Hard Hat and a Hammer: Impacts of the Infrastructure Bill

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                      Can You Find Certainty in an Uncertain World?

                      By Richard Branch, Chief Economist Personally, 2021 has gone way too fast. It seemed like just a few months ago the flowers were peeking through the dirt, the grass was growing, and we were looking forward to a summer of travel, seeing friends, and taking part in other activities that were curtailed by the pandemic. But here we are in the fourth quarter, with less than 90 days left in the year, and in the Northeast, the leaves are falling,… Read More »Can You Find Certainty in an Uncertain World?

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