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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 Job Growth Accelerates Amid Optimistic Post-election Outlook in November

Friday, December 02, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 2— The U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in November and has now added jobs for three consecutive months, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).  

Nonresidential Construction Spending Gains Momentum

Thursday, December 01, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 1—Nonresidential construction spending totaled $699.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis in October, a 0.3 percent decrease from September’s significantly upwardly revised total, but an increase of 2.6 percent year-over-year according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

Construction Input Prices Remain Flat in October

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 16—Construction input prices remained unchanged in October and are just 0.5 percent above where they were a year ago, according to analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Despite the modest increase in the aggregate input price level, today’s report represents the largest year-over-year price increase since November 2014. Generally, construction input prices, particularly natural gas and crude petroleum, have headed lower since the summer of 2014. However, that pattern of falling prices no longer holds. Crude petroleum prices were up 10.5 percent on a year-over-year basis in October while natural gas prices were up 12.2 percent.

Construction Growth Modest in Jobs Report

Friday, November 04, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 4—The U.S. construction industry added 11,000 net new jobs in October, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Industry employment increased 0.2 percent on a monthly basis and 3 percent on a yearly basis. Nonresidential construction employment added 3,300 net new jobs for the month and 56,200 net new jobs from October 2015.

Backlog Skyrockets for Largest Firms During Second Quarter, But Falls to 8.5 Months Overall

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 20–Construction backlog for large contractors reached a new peak of 14.06 months during the second quarter of 2016, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) released today. The new high for companies with annual revenue above $100 million shattered the previous high of 12.25 months for any revenue segment, which was recorded in the first quarter of 2016 and second quarter of 2013.

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.

Contractor Confidence Dips in First Half of 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 13–The average contractor is less confident regarding business prospects for the next six months, but the nonresidential construction recovery is anticipated to remain in place, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) released today. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with readings above 50 indicating growth.  

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.