The December 2013 Confindex survey from the Construction Financial Management Association shows the Year Ahead Outlook Index declined for a third consecutive quarter to a reading of 132. This represents an 11.9 percent increase from December 2012, but is down from the reading of 139 reported in the March 2013 survey.
Construction CFO confidence was down in December 2012 when the economic conditions were unfavorable. Confidence then surged at the beginning of 2013 when the economy sustained itself, but has been slipping ever since, the summary report suggests.
The Business Conditions Index rose from 142 to 147 in the fourth quarter, and rose nearly 20 percent year-over-year.
The Financial Conitions Index declined in the fourth quarter from 114 in 3Q to 111.
Sixty-five percent of CFOs are either very or highly concerned by skills shortages, up from 60 percent in 3Q. The CMFA says CFOs are concerned about skills shortages as construction workers retire and the number of labor force entrants remains small.
The proportion of CFOs that stated they are not concerned at all about public policies regarding construction declined from 21 percent in September 2013 to 7 percent in 4Q. The CFOs who were very or highly concerned rose from 23 percent in the third quarter to 31 percent in the fourth quarter. According to the CMFA, these concerns primarily stem from the ongoing implementation of healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act.