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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.

If you wish to receive Construction Economic Updates or the Construction Backlog Indicator as they are released, opt-in on the subscribe page

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

Donna Reichle
Senior Director of Public Affairs
(202) 595-1782


Construction Input Prices Plod Higher, Energy Prices Down

Thursday, August 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10—Construction input prices increased 0.3 percent in July and are up 3 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Nonresidential construction input prices were in line with overall industry dynamics, increasing 0.3 percent for the month and 2.7 percent for the year.  


Nonresidential Construction Job Growth Softens in July

Friday, August 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4—National construction employment growth remained tepid in July, with approximately 6,000 net new jobs added on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to an analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The residential construction segment added 7,200 net new jobs in July, but employment in the nation’s nonresidential construction sector declined by 1,700 positions after 9,900 jobs were added on net in June.  


Nonresidential Construction Spending Plummets in June, Driven by Public Sector

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1—Nonresidential construction spending fell by 2 percent on a monthly basis in June 2017, totaling $697 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. June represents the first month during which spending has dipped below the $700 billion per year threshold since January 2016.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1—Nonresidential construction spending fell by 2 percent on a monthly basis in June 2017, totaling $697 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. June represents the first month during which spending has dipped below the $700 billion per year threshold since January 2016.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1—Nonresidential construction spending fell by 2 percent on a monthly basis in June 2017, totaling $697 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. June represents the first month during which spending has dipped below the $700 billion per year threshold since January 2016.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1—Nonresidential construction spending fell by 2 percent on a monthly basis in June 2017, totaling $697 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. June represents the first month during which spending has dipped below the $700 billion per year threshold since January 2016.


U.S. Economic Growth Accelerates in Second Quarter; Nonresidential Fixed Investment Maintains Momentum, Says ABC

Friday, July 28, 2017


WASHINGTON, July 28—Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis during the year’s second quarter, according to Associated Builders and Contractors’ analysis of data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Nonresidential fixed investment, a category of GDP embodying nonresidential construction activity, expanded at a 5.2 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate. This follows a 7.2 percent expansion during the first quarter.


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.

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.

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.  

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.