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Engineering Business Index Survey
Surge in Optimism


The American Council of Engineering Companies' (ACEC) Engineering Business Index for the 4th quarter rose 5.1 points to 66.5, up from the 61.4 score of Q3/2016. This is the largest quarterly increase since the index's inception in January 2014. The previous largest increase was 1.5 points between the Q1/2014 and Q2/2014 surveys. ACEC says that any score above 50 signifies the market is growing. The Q4/2016 survey of 317 engineering firm leaders was conducted Nov. 31 to Dec. 20.

The EBI index encompasses 11 market sectors, 5 in the public realm (transportation; water and wastewater; environmental; health care; and education), and 6 private client markets (energy and power; land development; buildings; health care; industrial & manufacturing; and education). Most sectors were up. In public markets, transportation showed the strongest gain, up 9.5 points to 73.7. Land development was up 8.2 points.

Firm leaders continue to be optimistic that profits will grow over the next 12 months The score for expectations for profitability one year from now rose 5.7 points to 72.9 (versus 3.2 gain in 3Q 2016).

The rise in the index is apparently indicative of optimism from U.S. engineering firm leaders for the Trump Administration's pledge for infrastructure investment, regulatory reform and lower taxes. Firm leadership confidence extended across most of the marketplace sectors.

The American Council of Engineering Companies represents more than 5,000 independent engineering firms and more than 500,000 professionals throughout the U.S. engaged in the development of U.S. transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities.

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October 13, 2019, 7:21 pm PDT

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