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Improved Economic Metrics

RR062320 SimonsonJune 23, 2020 – According to Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors of America’s chief economist, the Census Bureau released the results of its seventh Small Business Pulse Survey, with responses from June 7 to 13, that “is intended to provide crucial weekly data on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the nation’s businesses.” Again, there was modest improvement in several metrics for construction firms. The share of firms that added employees (10.9%) was consistent with the previous four weeks (10.1% to 11.5%). The share with a decrease in employees (10.0%) declined from 12.1% in the May 31-June 6 week. For the sixth-straight week there was a decline in the share reporting supply-chain disruptions (29.8% vs. 31.4% the week before). The share of construction respondents that closed a location for at least one day declined to 14.4% from 17.8%. The share of construction firms that reported “little or no effect on…normal level of operations relative to one year ago” rose to a series high of 21.5% from 17.1% one week earlier. More predicted a return to usual level within three months or less (25.6% vs. 22.3%). The percentage who expect that returning to normal level would take more than six months was virtually unchanged (29.9% vs. 30.2% a week earlier), the share who do not believe their business will return to normal decreased to 4.0% from 6.3%