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ABC issues news releases on the latest workforce, policy and industry issues, as well as construction-related economic data and trends. Commercial and industrial construction economic analyses include federal data on construction spending, employment, GDP and the Producer Price Index, as well as state-by-state construction unemployment estimates.

In addition, ABC produces the Construction Backlog Indicator, the only economic indicator that reflects the amount of work that will be performed by commercial and industrial construction contractors in the months ahead, and the Construction Confidence Index, a diffusion index that signals construction contractors’ expectations for sales, profit margins and staffing levels. ABC construction economic releases are published according to this schedule 



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From the category archives: Construction Economics

Construction Economics

Construction Materials Prices up for May, Down for Year

Friday, June 12, 2015 11:36 AM
Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded by 1.1 percent in May, the largest month-over-month increase in more than two years and only the third time in the past 10 months that construction input prices have grown on a monthly basis. Year-over-year prices fell by 3 percent in May and have now fallen by more than 3 percent in each of the year’s first five months. The last time this occurred was the third and fourth quarter of 2009. Only three of the 11 key construction inputs—nonferrous wire and cable, crude petroleum and crude energy materials—experienced monthly price increases in May. Read the rest of entry »

49 States See Fall in Monthly Construction Unemployment Rate

Monday, June 8, 2015 9:00 AM
The United States economy, along with construction, struggled through the first quarter as the nation was battered with unusually harsh weather. As of the May 29 U.S. Department of Commerce report, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.7% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). The June 1 construction spending report showed that nominal (current) dollar construction spending was down 0.5% (SAAR), but on a not seasonally adjusted basis was up 3.7% compared to first quarter 2014. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Growth Continues in May

Friday, June 5, 2015 11:42 AM
The U.S. construction industry added 17,000 jobs in May according to the June 5 preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. April’s estimate was revised downward from 45,000 to 35,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 8,200 jobs in May, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors adding 5,600 jobs and nonresidential building employment expanding by 2,600 jobs. Residential construction employment added 8,500 net new jobs for the month.    Read the rest of entry »

Weather, Additional Issues Lead to 3.2 Percent Decline in Construction Backlog Indicator

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:00 AM
Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) declined 3.2 percent during the first quarter of 2015. Construction firms report a revenue-weighted average CBI of 8.4 months, 0.3 months below the fourth quarter of 2014 reading. Year over year, CBI has increased 4 percent from the first quarter of 2014 backlog of 8.1 months. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Surges in April

Monday, June 1, 2015 12:36 PM
Today’s Census Bureau release regarding nonresidential construction spending did not just offer good news about April; it also supplied upwardly revised spending data for both February and March. Nonresidential spending expanded 3.2 percent on a monthly basis in April and spending totaled $646.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, according to the government’s initial estimate. Nonresidential construction is up by a solid 8.8 percent over the past year, consistent with ABC’s forecast of high single-digit growth. The Census Bureau also revised March’s nonresidential spending figure from $611.8 billion to $626.7 billion, and February’s figure from $613.1 billion to $618.4. Initial estimates suggested that nonresidential construction was sagging during the early months of the year; however, the new data indicate spending has expanded during each of the previous three months. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Prices Remain Tame in April

Thursday, May 14, 2015 11:29 AM
Prices for inputs to construction industries fell by 0.1 percent in April, ending a two month streak during which material prices expanded by greater than 0.4 percent. Prices have now fallen in six of the previous eight months and input prices are also down on a year-over-year basis, falling 4 percent since April 2014. This represents the greatest year-over-year decline since October 2009 and year-over-year input prices have now declined for 5 straight months after expanding in each of the previous 60 months. Prices for inputs to nonresidential construction showed a similar decline, falling 0.1 percent for the month and 5.1 percent year-over-year. Crude petroleum prices expanded for only the second time in the previous ten months, growing by 13.1 percent, the largest month-over-month increase since November 2011. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Bounces Back with the Broader Economy

Friday, May 8, 2015 9:58 AM
The U.S. construction industry added 45,000 jobs in April according to the May 8 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. March’s estimate was revised downward from -1,000 to -9,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 12,400 jobs in April, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way with 20,200 new jobs. Nonresidential building employment plummeted for the month, losing 7,800 jobs. The residential sector bounced back in April, adding 23,600 jobs.   Read the rest of entry »

Year-over-year Construction Unemployment Rate Falls in 41 States

Thursday, May 7, 2015 8:50 AM
March, as is to be expected, provided better weather than February, though some parts of the country were hit with severe storms, including spring snow storms. This resulted in a monthly decrease in the March not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate for the country and in the estimated construction unemployment rates for 43 states. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Inches Lower in March

Friday, May 1, 2015 11:48 AM
Nonresidential construction spending has now declined during each of the year’s first three months, according to a May 1 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Fixed Investment’s Winning Streak Shattered in the First Quarter

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 11:25 AM
Nonresidential fixed investment fell 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, after expanding 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the April 29 gross domestic product (GDP) report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP expanded just 0.2 percent, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, during the first quarter, following a 2.2 percent increase during the final quarter of 2014.  Read the rest of entry »