Construction Backlog Slips for Second Straight Month
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November 18 The nation's backlog of construction fell for a second consecutive month in September, according to the latest Construction Backlog Index (CBI) compiled by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
The CBI declined 3.3% in September to 6.7 months, following a 5% decline in August t 6.9 months.
The shrinking backlog means that contracted construction activity in the U.S. is declining. The CBI is considered a forward-looking indicator that points to construction activity in the coming twelve months.
"CBI is now edging back toward levels observed in early 2010 as new government stimulus-financed construction projects are no longer translating into additional backlog – a lack of momentum in three construction segments that is cause for concern," said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. "However, CBI remains well above its historic low point of 5.5 months recorded in January of this year.
"The U.S. economic recovery is now roughly 17 months old and nonresidential construction activities typically lag the overall economy by 12 to 24 months, with the implication that privately financed activities should soon begin to show signs of rebound," Basu added.
"However, through September, backlog in categories dominated by private financing has yet to expand on a sustained basis. ABC anticipates improvement in construction backlog in the industrial and commercial/institutional categories as the economy continues to recover. However, backlog may continue to decline in the infrastructure category as stimulus funds are steadily spent down," he said.
For a full report including regional and industry-wide analysis, plus all charts and graphs, visit www.abc.org