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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 2017 Construction Economic Updates will be delivered according to this schedule.

ABC's 2017 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: 

George Lettis
Director of Media Relations
(202) 905-2104 office
(202) 714-1633 mobile


ABC Chief Economist Predicts Stable 2018 Construction Economy

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu predicts stability for the construction industry’s economy and expanding nonresidential construction spending in 2018. While construction project backlog and contractor confidence remain high heading into the new year, Basu warns there are risks to the 2018 outlook as a number of potential cost increases could come into play.


November Construction Input Prices Expand; Year-over-Year Inflation Highest Since 2011

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 – Construction input prices expanded 0.7 percent in November and rose 5.6 percent on a yearly basis, the largest increase since November 2011, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of  Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. Nonresidential construction materials prices also expanded 0.7 percent for the month and 5.4 percent for the year. Crude petroleum prices rose 11 percent in November and are 31 percent higher than this time last year. 


Construction Jobs Numbers Rebound in November

Friday, December 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8—The nation’s construction sector added 24,000 net new jobs in November, representing a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. 


Construction Spending Rises in October; Flat Year-Over-Year

Friday, December 1, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 – Nonresidential construction spending rose 2.1 percent in October, totaling $717.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The level of spending, however, remains virtually unchanged from a year ago. 


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.


ABC's Construction Backlog Indicator Fell to End 2016

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14—Construction backlog fell by 4 percent during the last quarter of 2016, according to the latest Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Contractors in each segment surveyed—commercial/institutional, infrastructure and heavy industrial—all saw lower backlog during the fourth quarter, with firms in the heavy industrial segment experiencing the largest drop, down 16.8 percent to an average backlog of 5.5 months.

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.

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.