Contractor Confidence Index tops 100 as market improves

We saw a lot of positives in the last three months. The fiscal year ended on a high note, with more contract awards than the year before.

The government didn't shut down, and Congress and the White House reached an agreement on a budget framework for the next two years.

Contractors have more certainty about the market and the kind of visibility that allows them to make investments and plan beyond the next quarter.

We saw these positives reflected in the third installment of our Washington Technology Contractor Confidence Index, which saw a significant rise to 101.9, up from the 97.3 that we measured in the previous quarter. Our survey received responses from 187 people.

The increase in the Index was driven by higher positive scores for questions around expected layoffs, company growth, and job satisfaction, as you'll see in the charts below.

For example, when we asked about revenue growth, 55 percent said they expected their company to grow, compared to 50 percent last quarter.

Sixty-seven percent said they did not expect their company to announce layoffs, an increase from 56 percent last quarter.

Interestingly, we saw a dip in the positive answers when we asked the question about whether respondents felt the market was headed in a negative or positive direction. This time around, 25.7 percent said the market was headed in a positive direction, compared to 27.9 percent who answered in the positive last quarter.

But the percent of respondents who felt that they market was headed in a negative direction also dropped to 30.9 percent this quarter, compared to 31.6 percent last quarter.

The number of people who said they thought the market was headed in about the same direction, rose from 40.5 percent last quarter compared to 43.4 percent this quarter.

Some of the comments we received to this question included hopeful statements such as the positive impact of the budget deal. But many of the negative comments focused on issues with procurement, such as a commenter who simply wrote "LPTA." Another was blunter: "Disarray in contracting."

This Contractor Confidence Index says that the market may have indeed turned a corner and is starting to head in a more positive direction. But, at the same time, there are still plenty of challenges that companies are dealing with.

As always, we look forward to your comments.

Do you feel the market is headed in a positive or negative direction?

Do you expect your company's revenue to grow, shrink or stay the same over the next six months?

Do you expect your company's infrastructure investments to increase, decrease or stay the same?

Do you expect your company's hiring to increase or decrease in the next six months?

Do you expect your company to announce layoffs or other cost-cutting strategies in the next six months?

Are you happy/satisfied with your job?

Are you currently looking for a job?

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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