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2019 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 11:59 am MST

By:

Deloitte & Michelle Miesels

As we move into the final year of a decade that has seen its share of peaks and valleys, there is no doubt that our industry is an active participant in building the future of the modern world.

Overall growth in 2018 for the US engineering and construction industry is projected to be around 5 percent and is likely to accelerate further going into 2019.  Mergers and acquisitions are positioned for a strong 2019, following an active year, which to date has seen 344 deals with a total value of more than $20 billion. Driving this activity are the proliferation of mega projects infused with advanced technologies, a focus on smart cities, and the promises of a data-driven world.

The engineering and construction industry is facing considerable hurdles—finding and retaining talent, responding to material price volatility due to tariffs and other trade-related headwinds, and absorbing the rapid pace of technology development pervading our personal and business lives. However, there is reason to be optimistic. Digital is transforming the industry itself and helping us imagine, create, and build the spaces, structures, and cities of tomorrow. Engineering, design, and construction firms have a unique opportunity to leave a mark on the smart cities of the future, using advanced technologies to design and build them today. These same technologies hold the promise to help firms achieve operational efficiencies, thereby reducing costs while improving margins. Those firms that embrace the projects of tomorrow and invest in digital transformation are expected to be the winners here.

As we enter 2019, here are some observations and signposts for our industry.

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