New Report Offers Construction Outlook


FMI Corp. released its "2019 FMI Overview," featuring FMI's latest forecast, the 2019 U.S. and Canada Construction Outlook. The publication offers comprehensive construction forecasts for a broad range of market segments and geographies in the United States and Canada and provides valuable insights from FMI executives on how to navigate the next 12 months.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • 2018 marked another strong year for the North American built environment, with total U.S. engineering and construction (E&C) spending growth expected to finish at 5 percent, the same as in 2017.
  • Spending growth in 2018 was predominantly led by transportation and select private nonresidential segments.
  • Looking ahead to 2019, FMI forecasts a 3 percent increase in spending levels over 2018.
  • Primary growth segments in 2019 are expected to include office, educational, public safety, transportation, conservation and development, and manufacturing – all with forecast growth rates of 5 percent or more.
  • Most other segments will likely grow by roughly the rate of inflation and therefore be considered stable. Multifamily, lodging and religious are three segments expected to experience decline through 2019.
  • In Canada, total construction spending put in place is anticipated to be just shy of $260 billion for 2018. This comes to a modest 3 percent increase over 2017 or about $9 billion in additional investment. Looking ahead to 2019, FMI forecasts another year of modest growth, with total construction spending topping $275 billion.

FMI's key advice for 2019 is: "Keep calm, stay focused and get ahead of the next downturn." 

Chris Daum, FMI's CEO, states, "Now is the time to get proactive with conversations and planning around lessons learned from the last downturn and 'recession-proof' your company. While the last recession was historic in scale and duration, the next downturn will likely look very different. Still, through good preparation, companies can take the lessons they (or their predecessors) learned from the last recession and use them to avoid repeating any costly mistakes."