Construction Industry Forecast

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The 2023 Optimism Quotient: A year of cautious optimism

The Optimism Quotient (OQ) — this survey’s primary benchmark for measuring contractor and equipment distributor sentiment on local nonresidential construction activity — is 86 for 2023. In the face of economic uncertainty, executives maintain cautious optimism as they look ahead to 2023. Download the full report to learn more about what to expect this year.

Where we've been. Where we are.

This year’s score is guarded, but optimistic for local nonresidential construction. The tempered expectations this year should be understood within the greater economic context of inflation, looming concerns over a recession, and ongoing supply chain disruptions. Contractors and distributors have diverging OQ scores, as distributors (100) have a more optimistic view and contractors (76) are more cautious.

2023’s OQ score of 86 is down from strong optimism score from 2022 which was 112, and up from 2021 which was 78.

Source: 2023 Wells Fargo Construction Industry Forecast Survey. Base: Total respondents - 320 in 2023 forecast.

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