Commercial builders see no turnaround

A survey of non-residential construction companies conducted by FMI, a management consulting and investment banking firm, found that executives see the economic strength of their own businesses falling in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter. Reasons cited include a reduction in backlogs, the continued rise of material costs and lower productivity.

FMI, based in Raleigh, N.C., interviews its panelists of construction firm executives on a quarterly basis, and its fourth-quarter Nonresidential Construction Index report (NRCI) was 55.5, less than one point up from last quarter. Overall, panelists were slightly more positive about the national and local economies. But when questioned about their own businesses, panelists cited five factors that are slowing their momentum down:

• Delays and cancellations

• Changes in project size

• Energy-related construction activity

• Market opportunities

• Experiences with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance

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