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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.

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

Jeff Leieritz
Media Relations Manager
(202) 905-2104


Construction Materials Prices Up 0.5 Percent in March

Friday, April 11, 2014

Construction materials prices expanded 0.5 percent in March and are up 1.1 percent from March of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s April 11 producer price index release. Nonresidential construction materials prices are up 0.4 percent for the month and are 1 percent higher than the same time one year ago. 


Jobs Report Meets Expectations in March

Friday, April 04, 2014

The U.S. construction industry gained 19,000 jobs in March, while the construction unemployment rate fell to 11.3 percent (non-seasonally adjusted) according to the April 4 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Nonresidential construction segments added 6,700 jobs in March, a marked improvement from the 2,800 jobs (revised) added in February. The improvement led the construction unemployment rate to fall from 12.8 percent in February and 14.7 percent in March 2013.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Inches Higher

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that nonresidential construction spending increased 0.6 percent in February and has risen 6.1 percent since February 2013. The gains follow nonresidential construction spending declines in both January and December. Spending for the month totaled $580.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.



Construction Materials Prices Expand Again in February

Friday, March 14, 2014

Construction materials prices expanded 0.7 percent in February and are up 0.6 percent over the past year, according to the March 14 producer price index release by the Department of Labor.  More specifically, nonresidential construction materials prices are up 0.7 percent for the month and are 0.4 percent higher than the same time one year ago. 


CBI Hits Post-Recession High

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) hit a post-recession high in the fourth quarter of 2013, growing from 8.2 months to 8.3 months (1.3 percent). Compared to a year ago, CBI is 3.9 percent higher—up from 8 months at the end of 2012. 


CBI Remains Virtually Unchanged In Third Quarter

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

As the economy gradually recovers, nonresidential construction spending remains unchanged—a good sign the downturn in the industry has stopped, according to the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) produced by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).CBI also remained nearly unchanged between the second and third quarters of 2013. 


Second Quarter Construction Backlog Jumps 3.9 Percent

Monday, August 19, 2013

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reports its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) rose 3.9 percent during the second quarter of 2013 and now stands at 8.2 months, up from 7.9 months the previous quarter. Construction backlog is up 6.6 percent compared to the same time last year. CBI reflects the amount of commercial and industrial construction work under contract, but not yet completed.


First Quarter 2013 CBI Declines 1.1 Percent

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reports its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) declined 1.1 percent during the first quarter of 2013 and now stands at 7.9 months. Despite the quarterly decline, CBI is still 7 percent higher compared to one year ago. CBI is measured in months and reflects the amount of commercial and industrial construction work under contract, but not yet completed. 


Level of Confidence Rises Among Contractors

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gains in the Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) indicate that contractor confidence expanded as 2013 wound to a close, particularly with respect to near-term industry profit margins and staffing levels.  The CCI measures construction prospects along three dimensions – revenues, profit margins and hiring.  All three indices remained above the threshold value of 50, which indicates growth, and each is up on a year-over-year basis.


Despite Headwinds, Contractor Confidence Rises In First Half Of 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Confidence Index (CCI) shows confidence among nonresidential contractors increased slightly during the first half of 2013, despite sequestration and rising interest rates.  


Construction Confidence Dips In Second Half Of 2012

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today released its Construction Confidence Index (CCI) for the second half of 2012. The CCI reflects three aspects of the U.S. nonresidential construction industry: sales prospects, staffing levels and profit margins.


Construction Confidence Wanes as Nation Approaches Fiscal Cliff

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today released its newest construction economic measure, the Construction Confidence Index (CCI). The CCI reflects three aspects of the U.S. nonresidential construction industry – sales prospects, staffing levels, and profit margins. During the second quarter of 2012, all three indices declined, undoing much of the first quarter’s progress and indicating that nonresidential construction momentum is waning. However, index values remain above 50, indicating ongoing expectations of construction spending growth.
  • Sales expectations fell from 68.3 to 62.3
  • Profit margins fell from 57.9 to 53.5
  • Staffing levels fell from 64.3 to 59.8