Despite lingering economic challenges like price increases and a shortage of labor, most in the concrete industry remain optimistic about the future.
A WOC360.com survey, administered to attendees at World of Concrete in Las Vegas, revealed that 80 percent of respondents reported their respective companies experienced growth in 2021 over the prior year. Additionally, 70 percent of respondents said they expected growth to continue in 2022.
Respondents of the survey included concrete and masonry contractors, producers, general contractors, manufacturers and vendors.
Amidst the optimistic outlook, industry professionals expressed concerns over a multitude of issues plaguing the economy.
Almost 40 percent of respondents identified the availability of skilled labor as a challenge facing their business, and a quarter of respondents said price increases remain a challenge for their business.
In total, the number of respondents who said their business saw a loss in 2021 was in single digits, with roughly 16 percent of responses indicating 2021 as a flat year for growth.
Only 13 percent of respondents expected 2022 to be a down year, with 16 percent of responses expecting flat growth in 2022. In total, 40 percent of respondents said they expected 2022 to be an up year and 30 percent said they expected to be up significantly in 2022.
A little over half of respondents said they spend more time online now than they did two years ago to find out about new products and services.
About 40 percent said they spend the same time online learning about the industry as they did two years ago and only six percent of responses indicated spending less time online versus two years ago.
Responses were mixed when the survey asked what resources respondents utilize to find out about new products and services in the industry. Leading the pack was 26 percent of responses, saying that manufacturing websites are their greatest resource.
A fifth of responses cited social media as the main source of information about new products and services, and another fifth of responses said industry media websites were a main source of information.
Trade magazines and industry associates also ranked close being social media and industry media websites for a main source of knowledge about new products and services, registering 16 and 13 percent respectively.