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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.

For more information on Construction Economics, to subscribe to ABC's news releases or to contact ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu, send an email to: 

Rachel O'Grady
Director of Media Relations
(202) 905-2104




 


Construction Material Prices Fall in August, says ABC

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12—Prices for inputs to construction fell 0.5 percent in August but are 8.1 percent higher than at the same time one year ago, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.4 percent in August but are up 8.3 percent year-over-year. Softwood lumber prices plummeted 9.6 percent in August yet are up 5 percent on a yearly basis (down from a 19.5 percent increase year-over-year in July).

Construction Employment Retains Momentum in August, Says ABC

Friday, September 7, 2018

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7—The U.S. construction industry added 23,000 net new jobs in August, an increase from the 18,000 net new jobs added in July, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 297,000 net new jobs since August 2017, a 4.3 percent increase. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 9,600 net jobs in August, although the heavy and civil engineering category lost 200 net jobs for the month.

Public Nonresidential Construction Up in July, Says ABC

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4—National nonresidential construction spending declined 0.3 percent in July, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today. Total nonresidential spending stood at $748.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate in July, an increase of 5.3 percent from the same time last year. Private nonresidential spending fell 1 percent in July, while public nonresidential spending expanded 0.7 percent.

Construction Material Prices Inch Down in July, Says ABC

Thursday, August 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9—Prices for inputs to construction fell 0.2 percent in July but are 9.5 percent higher than a year ago, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.3 percent in July but are up 9.6 percent year over year. Softwood lumber prices are up 19.5 percent from July 2017, while iron and steel prices are up 13.4 percent.


ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Hits a New High in Second Quarter of 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17—Associated Builders and Contractors reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator expanded to a record 9.9 months during the second quarter of 2018. Backlog is up 12.2 percent from the first quarter and 14 percent compared to the same time last year. 

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Remains Elevated in First Quarter of 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

WASHINGTON, June 18—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) contracted to 8.8 months during the first quarter of 2018, down 9 percent from the prior quarter. CBI is down 2 percent on a year-over-year basis.

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Hits a New High; 2018 Poised to Be a Very Strong Year for Construction Spending

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 19—Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator(CBI) expanded to 9.67 months during the fourth quarter of 2017—its highest level ever and a 2.25 percent increase from the prior quarter. Backlog records were broken in the Northeast region, the commercial/industrial segment and among firms with $30 to $50 million in annual revenues. CBI is up by 1.36 months, or 16.3 percent, on a year-over-year basis.

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 Confidence Index Surges in Q1

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

 WASHINGTON, June 20—Despite ongoing concerns regarding labor force availability and rising interest rates, and emerging concerns regarding tariffs and construction materials prices, construction contractors emerged from the first quarter of 2018 with tremendous confidence, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI). Each of the three indices—sales, profit margins and staffing levels—increased during the first quarter and remain well above the threshold reading of 50.

Contractors Remain Upbeat, According to ABC’s Latest Construction Confidence Index

Monday, April 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, April 16—Commercial and industrial construction contractors entered 2018 with abundant confidence regarding sales and staffing levels for the next six months, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index (CCI) released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). All three components surveyed—sales, profit margins and staffing levels—remained well above 50 in the diffusion index, signaling ongoing progress. But the average contractor is less confident about profit margins than they were a year ago.

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.