GovWin+Onvia provides market intelligence for businesses selling to the public sector. Every quarter they publish an open access report entitled, State and Local Procurement Snapshop, which covers contracting activity across the nation. Information covered in the report include: factors driving recent trends in SLED (state, local and education) procurement, which industries and projects have highest growth rates, differences in year-over-year bid & RFP growth rates, contracting and government technology trends, and implications for vendors. The industries covered are: Architecture & Engineering, Construction, Educational, Environmental Services, Financial Services & Insurance, Healthcare, Operations & Maintenance, Professional Business Services, Public Safety, Technology & Telecom, Transportation, and Water & Energy.
Here are some of the key takeaways, trends and market developments for the SLED market from the Q2 2018 report (directly quoted):
- In spite of the slowness of this market, the strongest four industries grew at healthy rates of between 3-11%. These included water & energy, professional business services, public safety, and healthcare.
- On a geographic basis, growth rates varied widely. This includes 6 states with growth of at least 10% vs. last year and another 14 states with moderate growth of 1-9%. The remaining 31 states plus the District of Columbia were either flat or declined in volume this quarter year-over-year.
- The state, local and education (SLED) market improved with a slight positive growth rate of 0.7% for Q2 2018.
- The slowing seen in the first half of 2018 follows strong increases in bids and RFPs of between 3-5% year-over-year in 2017, which was a sort of “catch-up year” after a weak 2016.
- As a result of last year’s unusual strength, the three-year average annual growth rate for the first half of 2018 was still nearly 2%. This is a healthy pace that easily topped the longer-term average of 1.1%.
- The sideways recent market is explained by a combination of cyclical forces and fiscal challenges facing SLED agencies, including higher required spending in areas like pensions and Medicaid.