A recent survey by Wells Fargo Equipment Finance says that contractors and equipment distributors are expecting business conditions to improve this year.
The company asked 522 construction industry executives from across the U.S. about the state of the industry.
Wells Fargo’s “construction optimism quotient” – the survey’s benchmark for measuring contractor and equipment distributor sentiment – is at a historic high of 124, up 18 points from 2013 levels and the survey low of 42 in 2009. An index above 100 indicates positive sentiments.
2014 marks the third consecutive year with an optimistic reading.
“The strong sense of optimism about construction activity is a natural contributor to the upward trends in construction equipment acquisition and rental we expect to see in 2014,” said John Crum, senior vice president and national sales manager of the construction group at Wells Fargo Equipment Finance. “In fact, unit counts of light and heavy construction equipment sold in the U.S. correspond quite well with the curve of the optimism quotient over the last 10 years.”
The majority of contractors said they believe that that purchases of new construction equipment in 2014 will remain similar to, or perhaps increase slightly, compared with 2013. One quarter (26.1 percent) said they would increase their purchases of new equipment compared to a year ago. Almost two-thirds of distributors (62.7 percent) said that they expect an increase in new equipment sales. A slightly smaller number—57.5 percent—said they expect growth in used equipment sales.