ABC's Construction Backlog Up 4.5 Percent in
First Quarter of 2010
May 25, 2010 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time
WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today released its
Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the first quarter of 2010 showing a 4.5 percent increase in construction
backlog orders to 6.07 months, up from 5.81 months in the fourth quarter of 2009. Over the two-month period from
February to March of this year, CBI shot up 17 percent and now stands at 6.05 months.
While the CBI rose in all areas of the country except the West from February to March, the Northeastern United
States is the only region to see a higher backlog when compared to March 2009. CBI is a forward-looking indicator
that measures the amount of construction work under contract to be completed in the future.
“The fact that the CBI is on the rise illustrates that the improvements recently seen in various other indicators,
including construction spending, will continue through much of the balance of 2010,” said ABC Chief Economist
Anirban Basu. “However, the overall impact of the recession may not be at an end or approaching an end. It remains
too soon to tell whether the current momentum will continue through 2011.
“As an indicator, the nonresidential construction industry tends to lag the overall economy by 12 to 24 months. With
the broader economy having been in recovery for the better part of a year, and with stimulus spending still having an
impact, the expectation is that for now, backlog will remain stable or better in the months ahead,” Basu said. “Still,
there are many forces at work that suggest that the sector’s recovery may not be sustained as stimulus monies are
steadily drawn down and commercial construction remains weak due to high vacancy rates and tight credit,” Basu
l The Northeast presently enjoys the highest construction backlog at 7.31 months in March 2010.
l The South and Middle States have also been experiencing a