Despite no Trump Large-Scale Infrastructure Spending, A/E Market Strength Continues

PSMJ’s latest market data shows continued strength across all major market sectors

Newton, Mass. (November 1, 2017)— Despite apprehension in the architecture/engineering (A/E) industry about how long a currently-solid economy will last, the major A/E markets look strong moving into 2018. Data collected for PSMJ’s latest Quarterly Market Forecast (QMF) report from shows continued optimism from design firm leader from across North America.

Since 2003, PSMJ, the worldwide leader on improving the business performance of architecture and engineering organizations, has asked firm leaders about their outlook and proposal activity in 12 major client markets and 58 submarkets on a quarterly basis. The data is reported in a Net Plus/Minus Index (NPMI). An NPMI value greater than 0% indicates a net positive outlook on the part of participants.  When asked about projected proposal activity for the fourth quarter of 2017 being higher or lower than the third quarter of 2017, an NPMI value of 31% demonstrates continued optimism. But, for how long will this optimism continue?

“Since 1960, our average time between recessions is 73.5 months,” says PSMJ Principal David Burstein, P.E., AECPM. “We are now at 96 months.” But, despite a promise from then-candidate for president Donald Trump, no real movement on new federal infrastructure spending, and high debt (as a percentage of GDP), Burstein is optimistic. He looks at A/E markets and submarkets, such as housing and subdivisions, as leading indicators of if, and when, the next recession will hit. According to the QMF data, housing proposal activity remains high—across the United States and Canada – and each of the five subdivision markets are strong as well, and have been since after the last recession. “Moreover, these markets and submarkets shows no signs of abating.” He says, “This market is still strong and staying solid. That makes me sanguine about next year or two.”

A notable trend, based on proposal activity, is that all markets from housing to transportation to even heavy industry are all moving in the positive direction or staying strong. “Right now, all markets are good. But some markets and submarkets are performing better than others,” Burstein concludes.

To learn more about PSMJ’s QMF or to participate in the next survey, visit Subscribers to PSMJ’s monthly newsletter can access the complete report each quarter.

About PSMJ:
For more than 40 years, the mission of PSMJ Resources, Inc. has been to improve the business performance of A/E/C organizations worldwide. PSMJ offers published information, educational programs, in-house training, and management consulting services in Strategy, Business Development, Project Delivery, Human Resources, Financial Management, Mergers & Acquisitions, Transition Planning, and more to A/E/C professional services firms.

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PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Gregory Hart