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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 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.

Construction Job Growth Rebounds in 2017

Friday, February 03, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 3—National construction employment started 2017 on a high note, adding 36,000 net new jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in January, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The 0.5 percent increase represents the best month for construction employment growth since March of 2016.

Nonresidential Spending Falters Slightly to End 2016

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 1—Nonresidential construction spending slipped 0.7 percent in the final month of 2016, but increased 4.6 percent over the previous year, according to analysis of  U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential spending decreased from $713.1 billion in November to $708.2 billion in December on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.

Nonresidential Fixed Investment Expands 2.4 Percent, but U.S. Economic Growth Slows in Fourth Quarter

Friday, January 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 27—The improved performance of the U.S. economy during last year’s third quarter gave way to a weaker period of growth in the fourth, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 1.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate during 2016’s final quarter, down from a 3.5 percent expansion in the third quarter. While the fourth quarter represents the 11th consecutive quarter of GDP expansion, overall GDP growth for 2016 totaled 1.6 percent, the slowest rate of
expansion since 2011.

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.

Construction Backlog Expands Nearly 3 Percent at the Close of 2015

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22 – The South posted the highest backlog in the history of the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

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.