NSCA Releases Electronic Systems Outlook

NSCA and FMI forecast new construction starts and renovations for 2014 on semi-annual report.

The construction community is still experiencing modest growth and there are signs of improvement in new construction, renovations, repairs, and retrofits, according to the new NSCA Electronic Systems Outlook, a partnership with consulting firm FMI.

The winter 2013 edition of the semi-annual report, which is available free to members and $349 to non-members, provides updated indicators of new business opportunities by tracking new construction starts and renovations in the commercial buildings sector. The latest edition includes a revised look at construction data by markets and systems.

Total commercial construction put in place for 2013 finished at $352.5 billion, down 0.5 percent from 2012, and lower than originally predicted, according to the Outlook. The summer 2013 edition forecasted total construction put in place at $913 billion for 2013. NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson says it’s likely to be around $977 billion in 2014.

“For years, we’ve been following commercial construction reports,” says Wilson. “We found that the electronic systems industry correlates with these trends.”

Each edition of the Outlook also tracks residential construction because of its impact on the new construction of schools, retail facilities, houses of worship, and lodging.

Related: 2014 Commercial Integrator State of the Industry Report

Among the economic concerns covered in the report that touch all market sectors are the continued decline in public construction and expectations of more as sequestration continues. In addition, banks are still tight with their lending criteria and consumers are being cautious about increasing their debts.

Overall, according to the Outlook, electronic systems are increasing in total volume, but show a slight reduction from 2012. The forecast indicates that approximately $19.29 billion were spent in 2013 on electronic systems, down from $19.31 billion in 2012. The original 2013 forecast expected spending closer to $20.3 billion.

Systems integrators can use this new outlook report to benchmark their own sales numbers and prepare business valuations. Growth indicators can be used to determine incentive programs, reveal new markets with potential, and appropriately distribute resources.

“If we use tools like these to better familiarize them with this industry’s scope of work, then it’s much more likely that systems integrators will be perceived as a viable risk,” says Wilson.