FMI recently announced the release of its 2013 First Quarter Nonresidential Construction Index report. The NRCI of 58.1 is a 2.6-point improvement over the fourth quarter of 2012.

The improvement reflects fundamental bright spots in the economy. “Optimistic but not bullish” is the way one panelist described his outlook on hiring for his company in 2013. Reflective of this is that 45% of NRCI panelists expect to increase full-time direct employees by as much as 5%. Most noting that hiring will be based on current staff reaching a level of consistently over full work capacity. Only 9% report that they expect to decrease the number of full-time direct employees.

In addition, NRCI panelists are slightly more optimistic than last year at this time for growth in nonresidential construction. Nearly 50% expect modest growth for 2013, with 18.4% predicting that industry growth for the year could reach as high as 5%. However, backlogs for NRCI panelists are unchanged, holding steady at a median of 9 months.

To download a copy of the full report, click here.