Construction Backlog Indicator Expands to 7
July 20, 2010 09:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time
WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today reports
that its latest Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) increased to 7 months in May – a 27 percent increase from
January of this year. CBI is a forward-looking indicator that measures the amount of construction work under
contract to be completed in the future.
“Construction backlog continues to edge higher and has generally been on an upward trajectory since late-2009,”
said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “But it’s not clear whether this level can be sustained.
“While this latest data indicate a broader improvement in nonresidential construction activity, there may be several
alarming reasons for the increase including the financial failure of competitor firms leaving more opportunities for
surviving companies, or contractors accepting projects with lower profit margins,” Basu said.
“Backlog in the infrastructure category remains relatively high and there was improvement over the past two months
in the commercial/institutional and heavy industrial categories, as well. However, whether the nonresidential
construction rebound will continue to strengthen and broaden for the remainder of 2010 remains to be seen,” said
l Compared to a year ago, all regions but the South experienced a rise in backlog.
l As of May 2010, the Northeast reports the lengthiest backlog at roughly 7.5 months, the highest level for this
region in the history of the survey.
l The Middle States report the shortest backlog at roughly 6.6 months. However, that represents a significant
improvement over the 5.6 months in May 2009.
“The impact of seasonal forces is apparent in the 2010 springtime data. However, the improvement in regional
performance is explained by more than seasonality,” said Basu. “As a greater share of stimulus-financed projects
moves from money-obligated status to