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Construction Economics

Welcome to ABC's resource for construction-related economic data and trend analysis. In addition, you will also find relevant articles, presentations and archived copies of ABC's Construction Economics Updates.

ABC's 2018 Construction Economic Updates will be delivered according to this schedule.

ABC's 2018 state-level construction unemployment releases will be delivered according to this schedule.

For more information on Construction Economics, to subscribe to ABC's news releases or to contact ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu, send an email to: 

Donna Reichle
Senior Director of Public Affairs
(202) 595-1782




Construction Material Prices Surge in April, Says ABC; Crude Petroleum Prices up 35 Percent Year Over Year

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, May 9—Prices for inputs to construction materials expanded 1.3 percent in April and are 6.4 percent higher than at the same time one year ago, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. This represents the largest month-over-month increase in almost three years and the largest year-over-year increase since October 2011. Prices for nonresidential construction inputs increased 1.6 percent on a monthly basis, and are up 6.3 percent year over year. 

Construction Employment Inches Higher in April, Says ABC; Nonresidential Segment Adds 9,000 Net Jobs

Friday, May 4, 2018

WASHINGTON, May 4—Based on recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. construction industry bounced back in April, adding 17,000 net new jobs, according to an analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Last month, initial estimates showed a 15,000 jobs loss, though that has since been revised upward to a loss of 10,000 jobs. During the past year, the construction industry has added 257,000 new jobs, representing a growth rate of 3.7 percent. 

Nonresidential Construction Down in March, Says ABC; Private Sector Falters, Public Sector Unchanged

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, May 1—Nonresidential construction spending declined 0.3 percent in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today. Nonresidential spending, which totaled $740.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, has expanded 2.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. February’s spending estimate was revised roughly $10 billion higher, from $732.8 billion to $742.8 billion, rendering the March decline less meaningful.

Fixed Investment Retains Momentum in First Quarter of 2018, Says ABC

Friday, April 27, 2018

WASHINGTON, April 27—The U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent during the first quarter of 2018, while fixed investment increased at an annualized rate of 4.6 percent according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of today’s advanced estimate released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Hits a New High; 2018 Poised to Be a Very Strong Year for Construction Spending

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 19—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator(CBI) expanded to 9.67 months during the fourth quarter of 2017—its highest level ever and a 2.25 percent increase from the prior quarter. Backlog records were broken in the Northeast region, the commercial/industrial segment and among firms with $30 to $50 million in annual revenues. CBI is up by 1.36 months, or 16.3 percent, on a year-over-year basis.

Construction Backlog Surges, Sets Record in Third Quarter, ABC says

Monday, December 11, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11—Providing more evidence of a strengthening economy, Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) set a record as it expanded to 9.45 months during the third quarter of 2017, up 9.8 percent from the second quarter to the longest backlog reading in the eight-year history of the series.  CBI is up by 0.8 months, or 9.2 percent, on a year-over-year basis.


ABC's Construction Backlog Indicator 'Returns to Earth' in Second Quarter

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reported its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) fell to 8.6 months during the second quarter of 2017, down 4.1 percent from the first quarter of 2017. CBI is up by 0.1 months, or 1.4 percent, on a year-over-year basis.


ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Rebounds in 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Rebounds in 2017;
All Categories Experience Gains During First Quarter
 
WASHINGTON, June 21-- Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) rose to 9 months during the first quarter of 2017, up 8.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016. CBI is up by 0.4 months, or 4 percent, on a year-over-year basis.


Contractors Remain Upbeat, According to ABC’s Latest Construction Confidence Index

Monday, April 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, April 16—Commercial and industrial construction contractors entered 2018 with abundant confidence regarding sales and staffing levels for the next six months, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index (CCI) released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). All three components surveyed—sales, profit margins and staffing levels—remained well above 50 in the diffusion index, signaling ongoing progress. But the average contractor is less confident about profit margins than they were a year ago.

Buoyed by Healthy Economy, ABC Index Finds Contractors Upbeat

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7—The majority of commercial and industrial contractors are confident about sales growth, profits and staffing levels as we head into 2018, according to the latest Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI).  Despite rising construction labor and materials costs, 55 percent of contractors expect their profit margins to expand in the first half of 2018.


Worker Availability Confidence Remains Low Among Florida Construction Firms

Monday, December 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4— In its survey of Florida construction firms for the third quarter of 2017, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) finds the confidence to fill open positions over the next six months remains low. Continued hurricane rebuilding efforts will likely exacerbate the challenge to find enough skilled labor in Florida to meet the level of project demand. Confidence in other areas of the survey remains high.


Contractor Confidence Ends 2016 Down but Still in Positive Territory

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 29— Expectations for 2017 have become less optimistic, but the majority of industrial and commercial construction contractors still expect growth this year, according to the latest Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI). Although all three diffusion indices in the survey — profit margins, sales and staffing levels—fell by more than five points, they remain well above the threshold of 50, which signals that construction activity will continue to be one of the few significant drivers of economic growth.