ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator is the only economic indicator that reflects the amount of work that will be performed by commercial and industrial construction contractors in the months ahead. The Construction Confidence Index is a diffusion index that signals construction contractors’ expectations for sales, profit margins and staffing levels. View the methodology for both indicators. 


WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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.

“Last year, the biggest issue was the fiscal cliff,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “This year, worries likely will stem from a combination of unresolved fiscal cliff issues and another potentially intense debt ceiling debate.

“A strong construction market requires capital, confidence and conditions consistent with demand for construction,” Basu said. “While capital and conditions have been improving steadily in conjunction with the broader economy, confidence continues to lag.

“The ongoing lack of confidence, including among those who would otherwise purchase construction services, continues to produce small and halting gains in nonresidential construction spending,” said Basu. “Though index values for sales, profit margins and staffing levels remained above 50 during the second half of 2012—indicating industry growth—confidence was lower overall.”

- Sales expectations fell from 66.3 to 62.3
- Profit margins dropped from 56.3 to 55.9
- Staffing levels declined from 62.2 to 59.6




- CCI is a diffusion index. Readings above 50 are favorable and indicate growth, while readings below 50 are unfavorable.  
- The following chart reflects the distribution of responses to ABC’s most recent survey, as well as a comparison with the survey for the      first half of 2012. 



Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 72 chapters representing 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms. Visit us at


Note: The reference months for the Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index data series were revised on May 12, 2020. All previously reported quarters and months shifted forward by one period to better reflect the timing of when the surveys were conducted. 

ABC construction economic releases are published according to this schedule in 2023

For media inquiries, please contact Erika Walter, ABC director of media relations, at [email protected].

Subscribe to ABC’s news releases and/or subscribe to ABC's weekly newsletter, Newsline.