First quarter reports show a slight improvement from the 2009 fourth quarter reading of 47.7 in nonresidential construction. At 48.4, the National Research Corp., Lincoln, Neb., attributes the rise to survey panelists' trust in a continuing improving economy. Although health care construction remains the only market showing strength this year, respondents predict improvements next year. Despite this, the industry still expects staff reductions, with 52% of those polled poised for such cuts. These changes are expected to be less drastic than previous downsizing, with less than 5% of the staff affected. Some construction executives are making strategic hires to prepare for the coming improved market. Overall signs of recovery are shown in FMI's quarterly survey. To learn more about this report, go to