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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 2016 Construction Economic Updates will be delivered according to this schedule.

ABC's 2016 state-level construction unemployment releases will be delivered according to this schedule.

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For more information on Construction Economics, or to contact ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu, send an email to: 

Jeff Leieritz
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(202) 905-2104


Construction Material Prices Rise Again

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15—Construction input prices expanded by 0.7 percent in May and have now expanded for three consecutive months according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The rise follows eight consecutive months during which construction input prices fell; prices remain 3.4 percent below their year-ago level.


Construction Job Losses Worst Since 2013, ABC Reports

Friday, June 03, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3—The U.S. construction industry lost 15,000 net jobs in May according to an analysis of today’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This represents the industry’s worst month since December 2013, when payrolls also shrank by 15,000 jobs. Including April’s estimate, which was downwardly revised from 1,000 net new jobs to a loss of 5,000 net jobs, the industry has now lost jobs in two consecutive months for the first time in four years.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Down in April

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1- Nonresidential construction spending fell 2.1 percent in April according to analysis of  U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential spending totaled $688.2 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate.

Construction Material Prices Rise Month-to-Month, Remain Historically Low

Friday, May 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13—Construction input prices expanded on a monthly basis for the second consecutive month in April, increasing by 0.5 percent according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The two-month growth streak follows nine consecutive months during which construction input prices fell and construction input prices remain 2.9 percent below their April 2015 levels.

Construction Backlog Reaches New High for Largest Contractors, ABC Reports

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21– Construction backlog among the nation’s largest contractors now stands above 12 months, a record for the series, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The biggest firms with the greatest capacity to attract talent have been able to accept work that others have to turn away in a market that has stabilized at a comfortable level but still faces a skilled worker shortage.

Construction Backlog Expands Nearly 3 Percent at the Close of 2015

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 22 – The South posted the highest backlog in the history of the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

South Records Highest Level of Construction Backlog in History

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 16 – The backlog of commercial and industrial construction projects reached 10.3 months in the South, the highest reading in the history of the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), according to third-quarter results announced today by Associated Builders and Contractors. Nationally CBI remained virtually unchanged at 8.5 for the quarter, although it has declined by 3.5 year-over-year, indicating that the nonresidential construction backlog has stabilized at a high level.

Construction Activity Increases as Backlog Edges Higher

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) expanded by 1 percent to 8.5 months during the 2nd quarter of 2015. Backlog declined 3 percent during the 1st quarter, which was punctuated by harsh winter weather and the lingering effects of the West Coast ports slowdown. CBI stands roughly where it did a year ago, indicative of an ongoing recovery in the nation’s nonresidential construction industry.

Contractor Confidence Down, But Not Out

Thursday, April 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14—Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) showed a slight dip in the second half of 2015, although all three components of the index showed optimism for continued economic growth. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with readings above 50 indicating growth.

Confidence Rises During the First Half of the Year

Thursday, October 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) survey indicates that contractor confidence will continue to edge higher in the first half of 2015. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels with readings above 50 indicating growth.

Confidence Level Remains Positive During Second Half of 2014

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) survey showed a continuing rise in optimism among construction contractors in the second half of 2014. CCI reflects forward-looking construction industry prospects using three measured categories. In the second half of 2014, expectations for profit margin and staffing levels increased, while sales expectations fell.

Construction Owner Confidence Rises During First Half of ‘14

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Washington, D.C. - The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) increased across all three indices in the first half of 2014. The CCI reflects construction industry prospects using three measured categories – revenues, profit margins and hiring. Each index now stands at a post-recession high implying that nonresidential construction’s recovery, already robust, is positioned to continue into the year ahead.