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August 13, 2019

What We Forecast for Construction in the Last Half of 2019 … and Beyond


The Summer 2019 edition of the Electronic Systems Outlook report is complete and ready for download! Looking ahead to Q3 and Q4 2019, we forecast a 1% increase in total construction spending over 2018.

Commercial building growth segments in 2019 are expected to include corporate offices and government buildings, both with forecast growth rates of 5% or more.

Alternatively, houses of worship and lodging are both anticipated to see decline through the end of the year. All other targeted segments are projected to grow roughly with the rate of inflation, between 0% and 4%, and, therefore, be considered stable.

Excerpted from the report, we’ve identified trends in each market that are impacting construction (either positively or negatively):


  • Widespread labor constraints and slowed employment growth are expected to weigh on future spending
  • Corporate relocations are expected to slow into 2020
  • Demand for data center investment continues to expand rapidly


  • K-12 spending growth is expected to outpace college/university spending
  • Rising tax revenues and local bond support are strengthening public funding sources
  • Increasing percentage of the U.S. population is under 18 years old


  • Rising tax revenues and local bond support
  • High-growth metropolitans are in need of updated facilities and infrastructure
  • National crime rates are trending downward


  • Ongoing influence of M&A activity, senior living demand from the aging population, and specialty care platforms
  • “Microhospitals” (eight- to 12-bed facilities) help local markets meet demand for acute medical treatment, driving the size of average segment projects down
  • New technologies and services are expected to temper long-term demand (e.g. telehealth and wearables)


  • Increased wages and income levels bolster industry revenue growth
  • Declining share of Americans donating to religious organizations
  • Declining attendance over time


  • Business travel, occupancy rates, and RevPAR are expected to remain healthy through 2020
  • Recent capacity additions alongside slower employment growth will continue to stall investment growth
  • Transportation infrastructure projects support elevated spending in select markets
  • Competition from nontraditional forms of lodging (e.g. Airbnb)


  • International trade negotiations, new tariffs, and oil price volatility continue to generate uncertainty
  • Increased investment tied to domestic oil and gas production, especially along the Gulf Coast
  • Leading indicators suggest a softening/declining trend in industrial production into 2020


  • Traditional retail continues to evolve with high, albeit plateaued, vacancy rates and ongoing closures/exits
  • Continuing rise in e-commerce led by Amazon, eBay, and others
  • Renovations assist in upholding annual spending levels
  • Demand for warehouse and distribution continues to expand with a shift to last-mile logistics

Members can download the report at no cost to find out what these trends indicate for short- and long-term construction. It also offers details on:

  • Markets projected to do the best in terms of renovation and new construction
  • Technologies growing in demand – and where growth is occurring
  • Developing a focused sales approach
  • New business opportunity potential

Not surprisingly, the report continues to reveal that the low-voltage industry struggles to attract, onboard, and retain employees in nearly all job categories.

NSCA is helping the industry manage these challenges with a variety of tools and resources. To assist integrators with hiring, NSCA’s Ignite program aims to attract new talent into the industry. It also:

  • Offers a subsidized Ignite Internship Program to match employers with talented students who have an interest in our line of work
  • Facilitates a solid group of ambassadors across the country who help spread the Ignite message
  • Offers an online resource that students can use to explore our industry and the work we do
  • Hosts an online job board for integrators and manufacturers to post open positions
  • Hosts industry career and networking events
  • Arms integration firms and consultants with marketing and promotional materials to use at job fairs and share with students who are considering a move to the industry

To gauge technician proficiency before hiring, NSCA also offers its free online Technical Assessment Tool.

Lastly, to provide industry-specific online training for new hires in sales, marketing, project management, and operations roles, NSCA also offers its free C-SIP training program.

Want to learn more about what the industry can expect so you can adjust your go-to-market strategies? Send us a note!

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