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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 2018 Construction Economic Updates will be delivered according to this schedule.

ABC's 2018 state-level construction unemployment releases will be delivered according to this schedule.

For more information on Construction Economics, to subscribe to ABC's news releases or to contact ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu, send an email to: 

Rachel O'Grady
Director of Media Relations
(202) 905-2104




Construction Material Prices Inch Down in July, Says ABC

Thursday, August 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9—Prices for inputs to construction fell 0.2 percent in July but are 9.5 percent higher than a year ago, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.3 percent in July but are up 9.6 percent year over year. Softwood lumber prices are up 19.5 percent from July 2017, while iron and steel prices are up 13.4 percent.

Construction Adds 19,000 Jobs as Unemployment Plummets in July, Says ABC

Friday, August 3, 2018

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3—The U.S. construction industry added 19,000 net new jobs in July after adding 13,000 net new jobs in June, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 308,000 net new jobs since the first of the year, a robust increase of 4.4 percent.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Dips in June, Says ABC

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1—Nonresidential construction spending contracted 1.6 percent on a monthly basis in June, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today. Spending totaled $742.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate for the month, a 4.2 percent increase from the same time one year ago. Private nonresidential spending fell 0.3 percent in June, while public nonresidential spending contracted by 3.5 percent.



Nonresidential Fixed Investment Surges in Second Quarter, Says ABC

Friday, July 27, 2018

WASHINGTON, July 27—The U.S. economy expanded at an annualized 4.1 percent rate during the second quarter of 2018—the fastest rate of quarterly growth since the second quarter of 2014, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data released today.

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Remains Elevated in First Quarter of 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

WASHINGTON, June 18—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) contracted to 8.8 months during the first quarter of 2018, down 9 percent from the prior quarter. CBI is down 2 percent on a year-over-year basis.

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Hits a New High; 2018 Poised to Be a Very Strong Year for Construction Spending

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 19—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator(CBI) expanded to 9.67 months during the fourth quarter of 2017—its highest level ever and a 2.25 percent increase from the prior quarter. Backlog records were broken in the Northeast region, the commercial/industrial segment and among firms with $30 to $50 million in annual revenues. CBI is up by 1.36 months, or 16.3 percent, on a year-over-year basis.

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 Confidence Index Surges in Q1

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

 WASHINGTON, June 20—Despite ongoing concerns regarding labor force availability and rising interest rates, and emerging concerns regarding tariffs and construction materials prices, construction contractors emerged from the first quarter of 2018 with tremendous confidence, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI). Each of the three indices—sales, profit margins and staffing levels—increased during the first quarter and remain well above the threshold reading of 50.

Contractors Remain Upbeat, According to ABC’s Latest Construction Confidence Index

Monday, April 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, April 16—Commercial and industrial construction contractors entered 2018 with abundant confidence regarding sales and staffing levels for the next six months, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index (CCI) released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). All three components surveyed—sales, profit margins and staffing levels—remained well above 50 in the diffusion index, signaling ongoing progress. But the average contractor is less confident about profit margins than they were a year ago.

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.