CONTRACTING A DOGFIGHT
The Carolinas AGC released its Construction Barometer for Q1 2011, which shows the Carolinas? index dropped .8% in the face of falling contractor expectations about the industry?s future. Of course, those expectations were tempered (in an ugly way) by contractors? beliefs that at least some of their competitors would go out of business, leaving more on the table for the survivors. (We smell a realty show.) The AGC, with the help of UNC-Charlotte economist Tony Plath, establishes its very complicated point system by surveying experts in the field and giving a numeric value to such industry benchmarks as employment, business trends, and financing availability. (The Carolinas current index value is 2.8. If you want to know more about what that means, go here.) ?The good news is, the first quarter was not that bad,? Tony tells us. ?The bad news is, it's not going to last.? Based on Tony?s calculations, the AGC, a Charlotte-based construction trade group, is expecting a lower rate of equipment and inventory purchases, reduced hiring activity, and weaker demand for long-term credit toward the end of 2011 and into 2012. Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water .