Photo 55884663 © Mihalec |

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Down in February

March 25, 2024
Stay up to date on ABC's backlog indicator.

Associated Builders and Contractors reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator declined to 8.1 months in February, according to an ABC member survey conducted Feb. 20 to March 5. The reading is down 1.1 months from February 2023.

View ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index tables for February. View the full Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index data series.

Backlog fell for every size of contractor except for those with under $30 million in annual revenues in February. Over the past year, however, the largest contractors—those with greater than $50 million in revenues—have experienced the greatest decline in backlog.

ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins, and staffing levels also decreased in February. However, all three readings remain above the threshold of 50, indicating expectations for growth over the next six months.

“Backlog is declining and confidence began to fade modestly in February,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While it is far too early to predict an industrywide downturn given that confidence readings continue to signal growth along sales, employment and profit margin dimensions, it appears that a rising tide of project cancellations and postponements has begun to make its mark.

“With excess inflation remaining stubbornly durable, at least according to certain measures, interest rates are poised to remain higher for longer,” said Basu. “That gives higher borrowing costs more time to upset the economic momentum that has so surprised economists over the past two years and has provided support for various nonresidential construction activities. With so much federal money still entering the economy, there will continue to be support for growth in certain construction segments, including public works and manufacturing-related megaprojects, but industry weakness is more apparent in segments that rely more purely on private financing.”

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EC&M, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Electrical Conduit Comparison Chart

CHAMPION FIBERGLASS electrical conduit is a lightweight, durable option that provides lasting savings when compared to other materials. Compare electrical conduit types including...

Considerations for Direct Burial Conduit

Installation type plays a key role in the type of conduit selected for electrical systems in industrial construction projects. Above ground, below ground, direct buried, encased...

How to Calculate Labor Costs

Most important to accurately estimating labor costs is knowing the approximate hours required for project completion. Learn how to calculate electrical labor cost.

8 Types of Electrical Conduit and Their Uses

Electrical conduit is a tube or raceway used to house and protect electrical wires within a building or structure. From data centers to underground subways to ports and bridges...