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Corona, Corona, Corona...the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

March 12th, 2020 | Published by NEW Construction Alliance

You can hardly turn on the TV, listen to the radio or even skim your phone’s inbox without being inundated with talk of the Coronavirus outbreak. To be clear, The Build Out advocates for common sense measures to protect against the spread of this or any virus, personally and professionally. But, fear of this virus is having far-reaching effects on people’s lives, our industry and the economy at large.

Looking out for our members best interests, we have summarized here the latest as it pertains to our industry.

First, the bad. As reported in Construction Dive, Anirban Basu—chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group—told a recent gathering of the Modular Building Institute’s World of Modular conference, “The risk of recession over the next three to six months is arguably more elevated than at any period since 2007.”

Basu, who also serves as chief economist of the Associated Builders and Contractors noted that the economy has defied predictions with an extraordinarily extended period of growth, which led to market “fragility” at some level and that fear over the Coronavirus has served as the unexpected impetus to a potential recession.

But not all Basu shared was bad news. You can read more about the many positive underlying factors in our economy that could help lead to a swift recovery here.

Now for some more of the good.

Meanwhile, in a separate article the Construction Drive reports that Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc. (JLL), a commercial real estate and development company, has issued its U.S. Construction Outlook report for 2020 that predicts growth despite cost upticks and Coronavirus uncertainty.

Right now, they are predicting growth of around 2 percent, but that could certainly tick upward if we are able to get past this Corona scare sooner than later. Read the whole article here.

And finally, many construction firms located in Coronavirus hot zones are reporting business as usual, also according to Construction Drive.

The article quotes an unnamed spokesman from Associated General Contractors (AGC) of California who said the virus’ impact has been negligible. “So far, we have received a nominal number of reports over the delayed delivery of manufactured and raw materials,” offered the spokesman. “However, it appears that no reports have come in related to the virus’ impact on our workforce or development of projects.” You can read the rest of the story here.

Oh, and the ugly?

At this point, the impact of the scare surrounding this virus on our economy and industry is unavoidable. But draconian measures and overreactions will only make the problem worse. A measured, careful response could be the difference from weathering the storm successfully or sinking your own ship.

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