Construction Backlog Indicator Increased to 8.6 Months in December
Washington, DC, January 16, 2024-Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Backlog Indicator increased to 8.6 months in December from 8.5 months in November, according to an ABC member survey conducted December 20 to January 4. The reading is down 0.6 months from December 2022.
The South, which remains the region with the lengthiest backlog, posted the largest monthly increase in December. Only the West, which historically reports the lowest backlog of any region, experienced a monthly decline.
ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels increased in December. All three readings remain above the threshold of 50, indicating expectations for growth over the next six months.
“Collectively, contractors experienced an uptick in optimism during the holiday season,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “Credit conditions eased a bit during the last days of 2023 as the Federal Reserve indicated that its next set of moves will be to reduce borrowing costs. That may have rendered project financing a bit easier, translating into both improved backlog and more optimism regarding sales, employment and profit margins for the for the first half of 2024.
ABC's membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors.