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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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Construction Materials Prices Expand in March

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded 0.8 percent in March, the largest monthly increase in more than two years, according to the April 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices have now expanded for two consecutive months after declining during the prior six; however input prices are down 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. March marks the fourth consecutive month year-over-year input prices have declined, the longest such streak since 2009. Crude petroleum prices fell 4 percent in March and have fallen in eight of the previous nine months.

Nonresidential Construction Employment Ticks up Despite Dismal Overall Jobs Report

Friday, April 03, 2015

Nonresidential construction added 5,000 net new jobs in March, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way by contributing 4,400 new jobs, according  to the April 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. As a whole, the U.S. construction industry lost 1,000 jobs in March, while February’s construction employment estimate (29,000 new jobs) was unrevised. The residential sector also regressed in March, losing 2,800 jobs.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Flat in February

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Blame it on the weather – that is what many economists have been doing over the past two months as economic data continue to disappoint. Retail sales, durable goods orders and other categories have not been as strong as anticipated. 

Construction Materials Prices Rise for First Time in Six Months

Friday, March 13, 2015

The largest monthly gain in petroleum prices in over three years caused construction materials prices to expand 0.4 percent in February, ending a six-month streak when prices failed to rise, according to the March 13 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices fell 3.9 percent. Nonresidential construction input prices also rose 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and 4.9 percent on a yearly basis.

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.