You are here:   News & Media > Construction Economics


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.

If you wish to receive Construction Economic Updates or the Construction Backlog Indicator as they are released, opt-in on the subscribe page

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


No Change for Construction Materials Prices in August

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Construction materials prices were unchanged in August but are 1.7 percent higher than this time last year, according to a Sept. 16 producer price index (PPI) release by the Department of Labor. Inputs to nonresidential construction, which also remained unchanged in August, are 1 percent higher than in August of 2013. 


Nonresidential Construction Employment Retains Momentum in August

Friday, September 05, 2014

The U.S. construction industry added 20,000 jobs in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Sept. 5 and July’s estimate was revised upward from 22,000 to 31,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction added 5,500 jobs in August, which could be considered a bit soft, but the segment added 15,200 jobs in July (revised upward from 6,600). 


Nonresidential Construction Spending Rebounds in July

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Nonresidential construction spending expanded strongly in July, growing 2.5 percent on a monthly basis and rising a robust 8.6 percent on a year-over-year basis according to a Sept. 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $617.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. The government also revised upward a somewhat disappointing June nonresidential construction spending estimate from $589 billion to $603 billion and the estimate for May from $606 billion to $611 billion.


Construction Materials Prices Flat in July

Friday, August 15, 2014

Overall, construction materials prices inched higher in July and are up 2 percent year over year, according to the Aug. 15 producer price index (PPI) release by the Department of Labor. Nonresidential construction materials prices were flat for the month and are just 1.4 percent higher than at the same time one year ago. 


Construction Backlog Indicator Reaches All-Time High in Second Quarter

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) reached an all-time high in the second quarter of 2014. CBI improved 5.4 percent following a 2.8 percent decline in the first quarter and currently stands at 8.5; up 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.


Nonresidential Construction Backlog Slides in Icy First Quarter

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Harsh winter weather helped produce a 2.8 percent decline in Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) during 2014’s first quarter. The weather also impacted construction starts, architectural billings and many other construction-related metrics. Overall CBI now stands at 8.1 months—down from the 8.3 months in the previous quarter, but up from 7.9 months a 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. 


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