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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.

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Investment in Nonresidential Structures Expands Moderately in Fourth Quarter

Friday, January 30, 2015

Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the fourth quarter of 2014, following a 5 percent increase in the third quarter according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis Jan. 30 release. Nonresidential fixed investment grew by only 1.9 percent after expanding 8.9 percent in the third quarter. Investment in equipment declined 1.9 percent, while investment in nonresidential structures increased 2.6 percent.

Construction Materials Prices Dip in December

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Construction input prices dipped 1.4 percent during the final month of 2014 and are down nearly 1 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the Jan. 15 producer price index release from the U.S. Department of Labor. Inputs to nonresidential construction fell even farther, down 1.7 percent for the month and 1.9 percent year over year. December’s report marks the sharpest decline in input prices since late 2008 during the global financial crisis and the fifth consecutive month construction materials prices have failed to rise.


Nonresidential Construction Hiring Surges

Friday, January 09, 2015

The U.S. construction industry added 48,000 jobs in December, including 22,800 jobs in nonresidential construction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimate released Jan. 9. November’s estimate was unchanged in this release, remaining at 20,000 net new construction jobs, but nonresidential construction’s November jobs figure was upwardly revised to 7,100 jobs.


Nonresidential Construction Spending Dips in November

Friday, January 02, 2015

Nonresidential construction spending fell 1 percent on a monthly basis in November, but has still managed to expand 4 percent on a year-over-year basis according to the January 2nd release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $617 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. Moreover, the government revised the October spending figure up from $611.8 billion to $622.9 billion. 


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.


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. 


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.