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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.

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

George Lettis
Director of Media Relations
(202) 905-2104 office
(202) 714-1633 mobile


Strong Economy, Weaker Dollar Help Construction Materials Prices Recover in January

Thursday, February 15, 2018

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15–Overall construction input prices increased 1.1 percent in January, reversing a slight decline in December 2017, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. Compared to this time last year, overall construction materials prices are up 4.9 percent. Nonresidential construction materials prices are up 4.7 percent year over year and up 1 percent on a monthly basis.  



Demand for Construction Workers Remains Strong, ABC Says

Friday, February 2, 2018

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2—Today’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows growth in both public and private construction spending, according to an analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Construction added 36,000 net new jobs in January, an impressive increase of 0.5 percent on a month-over-month basis. 


Nonresidential Construction Maintains Momentum in December, ABC Says

Thursday, February 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1—Nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.8 percent in December, totaling $720.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) analysis of data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. This represents the fifth consecutive month during which the pace of nonresidential spending has increased. 

Year-end Data Show Economy Expanded in 2017, ABC Says; Fixed Investment Surged in Fourth Quarter

Friday, January 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 – The U.S. economy grew by 2.3 percent in 2017, while fixed investment increased at an annual rate of 7.9 percent, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017 after expanding at a 3.2 percent rate during the third quarter. Nonresidential fixed investment performed similarly to overall fixed investment in the fourth quarter by increasing at a 6.8 percent rate. This represents the third time in the past four quarters that nonresidential fixed investment increased by at least 6.7 percent. 


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 Backlog Indicator Rebounds in 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Rebounds in 2017;
All Categories Experience Gains During First Quarter
 
WASHINGTON, June 21-- Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) rose to 9 months during the first quarter of 2017, up 8.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016. CBI is up by 0.4 months, or 4 percent, on a year-over-year basis.


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.

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.


Contractor Confidence Ends 2016 Down but Still in Positive Territory

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 29— Expectations for 2017 have become less optimistic, but the majority of industrial and commercial construction contractors still expect growth this year, according to the latest Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI). Although all three diffusion indices in the survey — profit margins, sales and staffing levels—fell by more than five points, they remain well above the threshold of 50, which signals that construction activity will continue to be one of the few significant drivers of economic growth.

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.