SAN FRANCISCO — Construction industry executives are optimistic that local nonresidential construction activity will improve in 2013, according to a survey by Wells Fargo Equipment Finance Inc., a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co. As part of its 2013 Construction Industry Forecast, Wells Fargo’s Construction Optimism Quotient (OQ) — the survey’s primary benchmark for measuring contractor and equipment distributor sentiment — is at 106 for 2013, marking the second consecutive year with an optimistic reading. An OQ over 100 is considered optimistic sentiment towards year-over-year improvement in local nonresidential construction activity.

“It’s great to see that contractors and equipment distributors expect nonresidential construction activity in 2013 to retain the improvements they experienced in 2012,” said John Crum, senior vice president and national sales manager of the Construction Group at Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Inc. “For most parts of the country, we expect to see modest improvement in overall construction activity.”

Highlights of the 2013 Construction Industry Forecast include:

Construction is moving ahead. The bellwether indicator for this survey, the Optimism Quotient, is a very positive 106. Although the number is down from 114 in 2012, it still represents the third highest national optimism reading in the past 13 years with only 2012 and 2005 being higher. Executives continue to express sentiment that nonresidential construction activity in 2013 will improve compared to 2012.

Residential could lead the way. Optimism about the residential side of construction was slightly higher than for nonresidential. There is significance in the fact that more contractors expect residential activity to increase (46.7 percent) than to remain the same (45.5 percent) or decrease (7.8 percent).

This survey marks the 37th year in which Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, and its predecessors, have published research findings on the construction industry.

Publication date: 3/11/2013