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ConstructConnect's Project Stress Index - August 21, 2023 Blog Feature

By: Michael Guckes, Chief Economist on August 22, 2023

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ConstructConnect's Project Stress Index - August 21, 2023

Data released for the week ending August 19th provided further evidence of a strong construction industry as fewer projects reported faltering in their transition from concept to physical completion. All three measures of project stress declined in the latest weekly results. Historically the third quarter of the year marks the seasonal apex in on hold and abandoned project levels; however, 2023 levels thus far are on track to be their lowest since 2020. These encouraging results have come notwithstanding the rising precariousness of financial markets.

Click here to download a copy of the Project Stress Index.

Projects with Delayed Bid Dates

2023-08-21 -- Delayed

Week-on-week delayed bid date project levels fell to their lowest level since at least 2020. Based on historic cyclical behavior, we expect the level of delayed projects to further decline in 2H2023.

Projects On Hold

2023-08-21 -- On hold

The level of on hold projects in the third quarter remains generally unchanged. This is an encouraging development as recent results challenge the historic seasonal acceleration of third quarter on hold levels.

Projects Abandoned

2023-08-21 -- Abandoned

Abandoned project levels fell for a second consecutive week and are approaching 2020 lows. Similar to on hold results, abandoned project levels cyclically climax in the third quarter; however, the latest results have not expressed such behavior.

About the Project Stress Index

The Project Stress Index (PSI) monitors the level of U.S. construction projects, excluding single family residential, that have experienced a bid date delay, have been placed on hold, or have been abandoned over the last 30 days. Each component has been indexed against the average of their weekly values recorded during 2021. The independent tracking of each status type gives unique insights into the timing, direction, and amplitude of market changes.

Additional information about the PSI, including detailed data about the individual readings for delayed, on hold, and abandoned projects can be found here.

About Michael Guckes, Chief Economist

Michael Guckes is regularly featured as an economics thought leader in national media, including USA Today, Construction Dive, and Marketplace from APM. He started in construction economics as a leading economist for the Ohio Department of Transportation. He then transitioned to manufacturing economics, where he served five years as the chief economist for Gardner Business Media. He covered all forms of manufacturing, from traditional metalworking to advanced composites fabrication. In 2022, Michael joined ConstructConnect's economics team, shifting his focus to the commercial construction market. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Kenyon College and his MBA from the Ohio State University.