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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 2016 Construction Economic Updates will be delivered according to this schedule.

ABC's 2016 state-level construction unemployment releases will be delivered according to this schedule.

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For more information on Construction Economics, or to contact ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu, send an email to: 

Jeff Leieritz
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(202) 905-2104


Construction Input Prices Expand for Third Straight Month; Petroleum Prices Soar Year-over-Year

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14—Construction input prices expanded 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and 4.8 percent on a year-over-year basis in February, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This represents the most rapid yearly growth in construction input prices in more than five years.

Construction Job Growth Surges in February

Friday, March 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 10—National construction employment surged in February as the industry added 58,000 seasonally adjusted net new jobs, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). February’s data represents the best month for construction job creation since March 2007. Nonresidential construction added nearly two-thirds of net new construction jobs with 38,500 jobs added for the month.

Nonresidential Spending Slips to Start 2017

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1—Nonresidential construction spending contracted during January, according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential spending fell 1.9 percent from December to $698.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.  This represents the first month total nonresidential construction spending dipped below $700 billion since July 2016.

Construction Input Prices Surge to Start 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 14—Construction input prices collectively rose by 1 percent on a monthly basis and 3.8 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. This represents the fastest year-over-year rate of materials price inflation since the beginning of 2012. Nonresidential input prices rose 0.9 percent for the month and are up 4 percent year over year.

ABC's Construction Backlog Indicator Fell to End 2016

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14—Construction backlog fell by 4 percent during the last quarter of 2016, according to the latest Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Contractors in each segment surveyed—commercial/institutional, infrastructure and heavy industrial—all saw lower backlog during the fourth quarter, with firms in the heavy industrial segment experiencing the largest drop, down 16.8 percent to an average backlog of 5.5 months.

Construction Backlog Rebounds in Third Quarter

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 13– Construction backlog expanded during the third quarter, led by strong growth in the commercial/industrial sector, according to Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), released today. The increase during the third quarter follows two quarters of decline in backlog—the amount of work under contract but yet to be performed—that led to speculation that growth in the country’s nonresidential construction industry was slowing.

Backlog Skyrockets for Largest Firms During Second Quarter, But Falls to 8.5 Months Overall

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 20–Construction backlog for large contractors reached a new peak of 14.06 months during the second quarter of 2016, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) released today. The new high for companies with annual revenue above $100 million shattered the previous high of 12.25 months for any revenue segment, which was recorded in the first quarter of 2016 and second quarter of 2013.

Construction Backlog Reaches New High for Largest Contractors, ABC Reports

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21– Construction backlog among the nation’s largest contractors now stands above 12 months, a record for the series, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The biggest firms with the greatest capacity to attract talent have been able to accept work that others have to turn away in a market that has stabilized at a comfortable level but still faces a skilled worker shortage.

Contractor Confidence Dips in First Half of 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 13–The average contractor is less confident regarding business prospects for the next six months, but the nonresidential construction recovery is anticipated to remain in place, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) released today. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with readings above 50 indicating growth.  

Contractor Confidence Down, But Not Out

Thursday, April 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14—Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) showed a slight dip in the second half of 2015, although all three components of the index showed optimism for continued economic growth. The diffusion index measures forward-looking construction industry expectations in sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with readings above 50 indicating growth.

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.