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Labor & Material Analysis – Q2 2020

What does the future in design and construction look like?

We believe that the remainder of 2020 and possibly the first half of 2021 would be an advantageous time to bid and /or start a construction project. Due to confidence issues, as well as cyclical events, and reduction in demand there should be a great number of qualified construction firms competing for work in an attempt for them to build backlog. This level of competition should allow inflation to remain near zero in the short term.

We would not recommend planning for a discount in the market due to the lost efficiency and extra cleaning / spacing requirements which will most likely be part of our everyday life for the foreseeable future (multiple years +). This lost efficiency and extra cost in General Requirements will presumably erode the savings typically found in a highly competitive down market.

Drastic reduction in 2020 Q2 confidence due to COVID. Industry executive’s believe a recovery will be at least a year away. Average view is that conditions are stabilizing at the moment with improvements over the next 36 months projected.

Non-residential spending has shrunk 3.4% May 2019 to May 2020 (2.4% in one month alone due to COVID)

Rebound of the Stock Market has been quick. S&P 500 has almost returned to historic highs.

Unemployment in June fell from 14.7% to 11.1%. Construction industry has regained 50% of losses sustained in the March to April time period.

With reduction in demand and spending, inflation for 2020 has fallen from a multi-year 2+% to below 1%.

2020 Q1 appears strong at 2% increase.




  • The economy was sound / strong prior to COVID-19.
  • Market gains mixed with reduced unemployment lead to optimism heading into 2021

CT / Northeast:

  • CT among the top states for reduction in COVID-19 related issues. Reduced % of cases among tested residents and reduction in hospitalizations. A slow and steady / cautious approach appears to be producing confidence.



  • States with large population centers and/or with less stringent COVID-19 mitigation plans (masks, social distancing, etc) are seeing a drastic increase of infection and death rates
  • Social unrest
  • Upcoming election reduces confidence due to unknown impact to businesses

CT/ Northeast:

  • Concern over CT’s current and projected fiscal health. Potential tax increases could hinder demand.
  • Unemployment in CT due to COVID-19 remains drastically high (over 700,000 unemployment applications)
  • School Re-opening: Parents and teachers are concerned about children returning to school for Fall 2020 in accordance with the Governor’s wishes/plan.

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