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


Construction Materials Prices Remain Tame in April

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Prices for inputs to construction industries fell by 0.1 percent in April, ending a two month streak during which material prices expanded by greater than 0.4 percent. Prices have now fallen in six of the previous eight months and input prices are also down on a year-over-year basis, falling 4 percent since April 2014. This represents the greatest year-over-year decline since October 2009 and year-over-year input prices have now declined for 5 straight months after expanding in each of the previous 60 months. Prices for inputs to nonresidential construction showed a similar decline, falling 0.1 percent for the month and 5.1 percent year-over-year. Crude petroleum prices expanded for only the second time in the previous ten months, growing by 13.1 percent, the largest month-over-month increase since November 2011.

Nonresidential Construction Bounces Back with the Broader Economy

Friday, May 08, 2015

The U.S. construction industry added 45,000 jobs in April according to the May 8 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. March’s estimate was revised downward from -1,000 to -9,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 12,400 jobs in April, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way with 20,200 new jobs. Nonresidential building employment plummeted for the month, losing 7,800 jobs. The residential sector bounced back in April, adding 23,600 jobs.  

Nonresidential Construction Spending Inches Lower in March

Friday, May 01, 2015

Nonresidential construction spending has now declined during each of the year’s first three months, according to a May 1 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Nonresidential Fixed Investment’s Winning Streak Shattered in the First Quarter

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nonresidential fixed investment fell 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, after expanding 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the April 29 gross domestic product (GDP) report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP expanded just 0.2 percent, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, during the first quarter, following a 2.2 percent increase during the final quarter of 2014. 

Year-End Construction Backlog Drops 1 Percent

Monday, February 23, 2015

According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the fourth quarter of 2014 declined 0.1 months, or 1 percent.  Despite the quarter-over-quarter decline, backlog ended the year at 8.7 months, which is still 4.4 percent higher than one year ago.  


Construction Backlog Indicator Reaches Another All-Time High

Monday, November 17, 2014

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) reached a new all-time high during the third quarter of 2014 at 8.8 months, eclipsing the previous all-time high of 8.5 months in the second quarter of 2014. The 2014 third quarter backlog is 6.9 percent higher than the third quarter of 2013 and the continued growth of backlog during the last six months likely indicates that 2015 will be a strong year of recovery for the nation’s nonresidential construction industry.


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.


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.

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.