Contractor Confidence is Up in Q2 2019 as Backlogs Near Ideal Level

Contractors, including general and specialty trade contractors, are optimistic about new business opportunities going into the second half of 2019, according to the Q2 2019 Commercial Construction Index (CCI) from USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The CCI rose two points from the first quarter of 2019 to 74 due to an increase in two of the three key drivers of the index.

The ratio between the average current backlog and the stated ideal level of backlog is the highest it’s been since the CCI initially launched in the first quarter of 2017 and up five points from Q1 2019. This means that contractors are closer to achieving their ideal work backlog than they have at any point in the past two years. Contractors’ level of optimism about new business opportunities in the next 12 months is up three points to 74 after a small drop in Q1 2019, revealing their expectations for a steady market over the next year.

The two-year outlook also improved, with 27% of contractors reporting high
confidence, up from 21% last quarter. Revenue growth fell back one point to a new low of 66. According to the CCI, this number has continued to shrink, with a six-point drop year-over-year from Q2 2018. This quarter, 60% of contractors expect revenue to remain the same while only 36% expect an increase.

Materials and Equipment

Spending on tools and equipment remained steady in Q2 2019, with 48% of contractors expecting to spend more on those items, the report indicates, an increase of 1% over last quarter.

Contractors do expect a moderate to high impact on their projects from fluctuations in costs for materials, with 26% expecting high impacts and 53% expecting moderate impacts.

So far as material shortages are concerned, since Q4 2018, the CCI has shown that contractors are reporting moderate rather than high impacts on their businesses. Seventy-one percent reported a moderate impact this quarter, up from 66% last quarter. The concern over metal and equipment tariffs has decreased since last quarter.

Green Projects

CCl’s Q2 2019 quarterly spotlight focuses on green projects. According to the index, contractors’ share of green projects declined from 30% in Q2 2017 to 20% in Q2 2018 and, finally, to 18% this quarter.

“This is particularly surprising since other industry studies do not reveal a similar slowdown in green work. This quarters study shows that green projects are done more frequently by large contractors,” reads the index report. “The findings may suggest the majority of green projects are becoming concentrated among a a smaller group of companies.”

However, CGI findings show that contractors are still considering how to influence sustainability. Contractors reported using green practices on a relatively high percentage of projects, and more than 80% reported working on at least some share of green projects, though this is down from 2017.

Choosing the Right Insurance Impacts Glass Shops

There are a few insurance policies industry experts say are beneficial for glass and glazing companies to have. Of them, auto lie ability, general liability and workers compensation should be the main options needed, as stated in a recent webinar given by Raul F. Campa, a Grayhawk Insurance and Risk Management agent. The webinar was sponsored by the International Window Film Association (IWFA).

AUTO COVERAGE

Campa mentioned early on that auto liability insurance covers any bodily injuries or property damage that results from an accident. He recommends it for any business that has L. a company vehicle its staff uses.

GENERAL LIABILITY

According to Campa’s presentation, this type of insurance is from a third party and helps protect glass businesses and their employees from bodily injury, property damage, libel, slander and many more types of lawsuits.

“An example of this insurance I often use is the classic slip and fall. Say a client or customer of yours comes into your business and walks on the exact carpet that you and everyone in your shop knows is prone to slide, and the person falls, hurts themselves and proceeds to file a lawsuit against your company,” said Campa.

WORKERS COMPENSATION

Campa also spoke on the importance of having and understanding workers compensation for glass companies.

According to Campa, along with providing coverage to employees in the event of an accident, there needs to be a strong safety culture in place. By building and setting safety expectations companies can aid in reducing the amount of workplace accidents.

“If you set the stage early and have things posted that serve as reminders to your staff, it gets everyone on the same page as far as safety is concerned. When it comes to insurance it’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Campa.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.