Construction Backlog Spikes in Second Quarter, Poised to Continue Rise

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) reached an all-time high in the second quarter of 2014. The CBI improved 5.4 percent following a 2.8 percent decline in the first quarter and currently stands at 8.5—up 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

“The long-awaited brisk nonresidential construction recovery may be upon us,” says ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “Industry momentum was snuffed out by a seemingly endless winter, but the pace of industry recovery has been accelerating ever since.

“Backlog gains were nearly ubiquitous during the second quarter, with gains registered in every industry segment, in nearly all geographies and for firms of virtually all sizes.”

Moving forward, Basu expects further increases in construction backlog.

“The nation has added roughly 2.5 million jobs over the past year, consistent with growing demand for space,” he says. “Financing conditions have also improved, which should set the stage for more rapid nonresidential construction recovery in a number of key construction segments, including office (classified within commercial/institutional) and manufacturing (classified within heavy industrial) segments.”

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