RSM survey finds aging infrastructure hampering economic growth

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A survey done by RSM US and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has found that executives at middle market businesses agree that the state of the U.S. infrastructure is hampering economic growth nationally, locally, and within their organizations.

According to the RSM US Middle Market Business Index (MMBI) Infrastructure Special Report, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of executives surveyed said the American infrastructure is restricting the growth of the national economy, and 60 percent said it restricted growth in their local economies. More than half (54 percent) said it was hurting their own businesses.

However, 64 percent of the survey respondents said they believe meaningful actions over the next three years will result in tangible infrastructure enhancements.

“Executives are telling RSM that there is an urgent need to shore up what makes the American economy tick,” said Joe Brusuelas, RSM US LLP chief economist. “The results of this survey send a clear message to lawmakers and policymakers that middle market businesses are ready to invest and want to participate in the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure. We rarely see this kind of agreement in our society anymore, and this is the real economy communicating to the policy community that something different has to happen.”

The survey also found that middle market executives are looking for infrastructure improvement initiatives across the board. Nearly two-thirds of the executives (63 percent) said initiatives like improving roads and communications networks would benefit their company’s day-to-day operations. Executives also said they wanted to participate in infrastructure rebuilding, and more than half said they were likely to participate in the vendor selection process.

“Our nation must launch a massive investment program to modernize America’s infrastructure,” said Ed Mortimer, vice president, transportation and infrastructure, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure is not only one of the fastest and most direct ways to create new jobs and spur economic growth now, but also it will sustain our modern economy and improve the quality of life for every American. Infrastructure is not a partisan issue—there is strong bipartisan support to invest in our nation’s future, and we now need our elected leaders to come together and show the American people they can enact fundamental, good policy.”