b'Business ManagementShrinkingbacklog AssociatedBuildersandinstance, experts predict people will continue to Contractors Construction Backlog Indicator fellwork from home more often then they go into a to 7.5 months in September, a decline of 0.5central office, so construction of office buildings months from Augusts reading and 1.5 monthsremains a gray area in terms of future growth.lower thanThe construction of new healthcare facilities in 2019 during the same period In addition,also could drop significantly because of changes theassociationsConstructionConfidencein lifestyles post-COVID-19, according to Ken Index readings for sales and profit margins alsoSimonson, chief economist for the Associated decreased. The months ahead dont look hopefulGeneral Contractors of America. Hospital use for contractors looking to add to their backlog ofdropped off drastically in the spring of 2020 work, said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basuand its not certain if visits for elective surgery in a release about the indicator. ABCs surveyand other non-essential procedures will come data indicate that we are in the early stages of aback, Simonson said. Or will we see growth of nonresidential construction spending downturn,alternative medical care through urgent care or he said. With few exceptions, declines in backlogsurgery centers? He also questioned if nursing have begun to accelerate across all markets andhome construction would fall because people regions. might be more hesitant to check themselves or Falling construction costs A variety of pandemic- family members into the facilities.related forces have caused construction costs toTravel and hospitality sectors, along with sports or decline slightly for the first time in a decade, whichperformance venues, also look grim according to could lead contractors to feel a pinch in profits. Simonson.Thats primarily because their revenue The Turner Building Cost Index, which measuressourcessales taxes, convention income and costsintheU.S.nonresidentialbuildingtollsare taking a big hit and arent expected construction market, fell to a value of 1171 in theto get replenished anytime soon as the pandemic third quarter of 2020, a 1.5% quarterly reductioncontinues in 2021. from the beginning of the year. This year markedPrice increases Throughout 2020 saw fluctuations the first time the index from Turner Constructionin the prices of construction materials, most has reduced in value since 2010. Trade contractorrecently with the skyrocketing cost of lumber. competition has increased in many areas as theyPrices have been rising on most materials since work to secure backlog due to uncertainty theylast May, according to ABC. Its September look at haveaboutfutureopportunities,said Attilioprices found that among 11 subcategories, eight Rivetti, the Turner vice president responsible forexperienced monthly increases. As construction compiling the Cost Index in a press statement. comes back online around the world, increasing LessworkVarioussectorsofcommercialdemand for products could keep prices on the rise, construction will continue to experience a declineBasu said. Despite the lingering pandemic, the even after the rest of the economy begins toglobal economy has been recovering, increasing recover from COVID-19, economists say. Fordemand for key commodities, he said. Rapid Continued on page 40www .mrca .orgMidwest Roofer 39'