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Construction Economics

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Construction Unemployment Rose in January

Friday, February 05, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 5—The U.S. construction industry’s unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent in January, the highest level since March of 2015, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The unemployment rate across all industries shed a tenth of a percentage point and now sits at 4.9 percent, the lowest level since February of 2008.

Nonresidential Spending Falls Again in December

Monday, February 01, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. Feb. 1—Nonresidential construction spending dipped for a second consecutive month, falling 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in December, according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential construction spending totaled $681.2 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. November’s nonresidential construction spending estimate was revised lower by 0.6 percent to $683.7 billion. 

Tepid GDP Growth a Sign Construction Spending May Sputter; Decline Unlikely

Friday, January 29, 2016

Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by just 0.7 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Economic Analysis data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This paltry growth follows a 2 percent increase during the year’s third quarter and a 3.9 percent increase during the second quarter. For the year, GDP expanded by 2.4 percent, matching the rate of growth seen in 2014.

Construction Material Prices Continue Free Fall in December

Friday, January 15, 2016

Construction material prices fell for the sixth consecutive month in December, losing 1.2 percent on a monthly basis and 4 percent on a yearly basis according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Construction input prices have fallen 7.2 percent since peaking in August 2014, and have fallen in eleven of the previous sixteen months. Nonresidential construction input prices exhibited similar declines, falling 1.1 percent for the month and 4 percent for the year.

South Records Highest Level of Construction Backlog in History

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 16 – The backlog of commercial and industrial construction projects reached 10.3 months in the South, the highest reading in the history of the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), according to third-quarter results announced today by Associated Builders and Contractors. Nationally CBI remained virtually unchanged at 8.5 for the quarter, although it has declined by 3.5 year-over-year, indicating that the nonresidential construction backlog has stabilized at a high level.

Construction Activity Increases as Backlog Edges Higher

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) expanded by 1 percent to 8.5 months during the 2nd quarter of 2015. Backlog declined 3 percent during the 1st quarter, which was punctuated by harsh winter weather and the lingering effects of the West Coast ports slowdown. CBI stands roughly where it did a year ago, indicative of an ongoing recovery in the nation’s nonresidential construction industry.

Weather, Additional Issues Lead to 3.2 Percent Decline in Construction Backlog Indicator

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) declined 3.2 percent during the first quarter of 2015. Construction firms report a revenue-weighted average CBI of 8.4 months, 0.3 months below the fourth quarter of 2014 reading. Year over year, CBI has increased 4 percent from the first quarter of 2014 backlog of 8.1 months.

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.  


Confidence Rises During the First Half of the Year

Thursday, October 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) survey indicates that contractor confidence will continue to edge higher in the first half of 2015. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels with readings above 50 indicating growth.

Confidence Level Remains Positive During Second Half of 2014

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) survey showed a continuing rise in optimism among construction contractors in the second half of 2014. CCI reflects forward-looking construction industry prospects using three measured categories. In the second half of 2014, expectations for profit margin and staffing levels increased, while sales expectations fell.

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.