• BDO Construction Survey 2020

    An analysis of construction companies in Australia.

Construction Survey 2020

It is with great pleasure, we release the inaugural BDO Construction Survey 2020: an analysis of construction companies in Australia.

When we gathered the data for this survey in February 2020, there was an undercurrent of uncertainty in the broader market, and the Australian bushfire devastation was at its peak. Yet, participants indicated that they were optimistic about their futures, which was reflected in their promising forecasts. 

This was followed shortly and swiftly by the COVID-19 pandemic - an economic impact that blind-sided all businesses and one that has forced many to adapt quickly to new work practices. 

For the construction industry, which employs over 1.2 million of Australia’s workforce and makes a significant contribution to Australia's GDP, early estimates suggest that the impact of GDP from Covid-19, will see construction take a medium hit, or –35% of the economy. 

Currently, the Australian Federal Government acknowledges the input of construction and are still considering it as an essential service, allowing many construction operators to continue with their projects. There are also indications that construction will be play a major role in the economic recovery from this crisis.

We understand that some data within this report does not reflect the impact of coronavirus and changes in forecasting will be taking place across the sector.  

While the long-term effects are still unclear, day-by-day day businesses are facing new ways of working and overcoming issues of decreased productivity. In late March, I had discussions with construction owners to discuss their thoughts on the Coronavirus impact, and for medium-sized construction businesses, their optimism continues.  

For some, it has meant that the implementation of previously discussed initiatives has been brought forward, and in their mind created new opportunities to do things better. 

Construction companies are harnessing the opportunity to work more efficiently, upgrade or fast-track their plans to uptake new technologies and find different ways of mobilising people.  

Overall, there is a lot of market uncertainty and this will mean that in the medium term at least, there will be a slowing of projects and projects put on hold – particularly where residential is concerned. However, as the GFC in 2008 has proven, recovery for construction will be solid, as they operate in a fairly stable environment. It’s expected that responsiveness will see innovation flourish. 

On behalf of BDO and the National Real Estate and Construction Team, I would like to thank you all our participants who took part in this years’ survey. These insights will add significant weight in the ability for those business to benchmark themselves more effectively. 


We hope you enjoy reading the report and if you have any questions, please reach out to me or the team.