Geo-Business Analytics: Impact of COVID-19 in the US geotechnical practice

This year brought the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and people all over the world are shaken by unprecedented circumstances that have impacted societies and the way people do business. Geotechnical engineers are no exception to this and geo-professionals have been worried about the pandemic’s impact on their practice during the crisis.

Our data analysis sheds some light on how American geotechs felt COVID-19 impacts their business. ARGO-E has been collecting data through GeoWorld’s Geotechnical Business Confidence Index (GBCI) and the results of our Geo-Business insights are particularly interesting. If you still do not know about the GBCI (you should), click here to read more about it.

The US geotechnical business, similarly to the US economy, was performing steadily before the crisis broke out, something that is reflected on our data as shown in the figure above. Indeed, since 2017, when our data collection began, geo-professionals have been reporting that short-term business expectations remained around the 70’s of the index, which is  good number for a western, mature economy. This trend continued up until the end of 2019.

Once the pandemic started propagating within the US, however, geotechs were found to be pessimistic about the year to come. This is in contrast to the long run (5-year outlook) that remained very positive. The 1-year GBCI dropped in the first quarter of 2020 at levels that we have never seen up to now (mid 50s) and into the 40s in the second quarter of 2020. Now, in the 3rd quarter of 2020, we see a rebounce to pre-COVID crisis levels, indicating that the professionals believe that next year things will be back to “normal”. Will that happen? Stay tuned to find out!

If you want to be part of the confidence index survey, register now and join the largest professional network for geotechnical engineers and associated fields.

If you are already a member of GeoWorld, do not forget to login and participate in the in the Q4 2020 Geotechnical Business Confidence Index 30-second survey!

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