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Survey: State, national contractors predict tough year in 2010 (access required)

By Caitlin Coakley CHARLOTTE — According to a survey released Jan. 20 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 90 percent of contractors nationwide and 88 percent of those in North Carolina are not optimistic about the industry’s recovery in 2010. Approximately 700 firms participated in the survey. “Unfortunately for the industry and for our economy, this year’s construction outlook is far from positive,” AGC Chief Executive Officer Stephen Sandherr said in a statement. Respondents expect to see even fewer privately funded projects in 2010 compared to last year: 64 percent forecast less demand for new manufacturing facilities, while 71 percent forecast lower demand for retail, warehouse and lodging facilities. Contractors also expect little relief from the recession’s impact on profits: 81 percent said they have cut profit margins for 2009 bids, and more than 10 percent said they now are submitting bids so low they will actually lose money on the work.

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