SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

May 14, 2008 15:02 ET

Q1 Construction/Contracting SBRB Industry Report: Construction, Contracting Business Owners Report Increase in Confidence

Small Business Research Board Study Indicates Construction, Contracting Industry Looks to an Improved Economy in the Next 12 Months

BUFFALO GROVE, IL--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - Owners of construction and contracting businesses expressed their improved outlook regarding the general economy during the next 12 months as the Small Business Research Board (SBRB) said its Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI) increased during the first quarter.

The construction and contracting industry reported an SBCI of 44 during the first quarter, a nine point increase from the 35 recorded during the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the study co-sponsored by International Profit Associates.

The first quarter 2008 SBCI of 44 was slightly more than five points shy of the indicator's historical high of 49.3 recorded during the second quarter of 2006, the first time the SBRB issued such an industry indicator.

The current industry SBCI is nine points higher than the SBCI of 35 reported in the previous quarter. It remains consistent with the U.S. businesses confidence index during the first quarter of 2008, at only one point higher.

The higher construction and contracting SBCI resulted from a positive outlook regarding the general economy in the next 12 months and 36% (an increase of 12 points) of the respondents plan to increase hiring during the same period. 46% of respondents said they were prepared to increase staff and 54% reported they expect to attain higher revenues.

More than 1,000 small business owners participated in the nationwide poll. The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted quarterly.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations. The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small business owners and managers. The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research. The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at

International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA) is the largest privately-held provider of management consulting services to small and medium-size businesses in North America. IPA, and its more than 1,800 professionals, offers a wide range of proven and innovative methodologies to help businesses grow and prosper regardless of the economic cycle. IPA either provides directly, or through its affiliated companies, a comprehensive array of business advisory services, tax and estate planning services or merger, acquisition and other financial advisory services in the United States and Canada. More information about IPA can be found at

First Quarter 2008 vs. Prior Quarter
                                             All U.S.         Contracting
Small Business Confidence Index
Q1 2008 (Current)                               43                 44
Q4 2007                                         34                 35

Economy Improving
Q1 2008 (Current)                               42                 43
Q4 2007                                         29                 33

Revenues to Increase
Q1 2008 (Current)                               52                 54
Q4 2007                                         48                 42

Hiring to Increase
Q1 2008 (Current)                               37                 36
Q4 2007                                         24                 30

Outlook for the general economy for the next 12 months?
43%    Better
24%    Worse
33%    No Change
Revenue expectations for the next 12 months?
34%    Increase of 10% or more
20%    Increase of less than 10%
28%    Will be about the same
13%    Decrease of less than 10%
5%     Decrease of 10% or more
Expectation for hiring new employees during the next 12 months?
36%    Increase hiring
18%    Decrease workforce
24%    Remain the same
22%    Unsure

*numbers may not equal 100% as a result of rounding

Copyright 2008 Small Business Research Board (SBRB)

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the SBRB, please contact Jennifer Cumbee, (847) 495-6786.

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    Small Business Research Board
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