Posted June 11, 2020

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator inches higher in May

Contractor confidence continues to rebound.

Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator rose to 7.9 months in May, an increase of less than 0.1 months from April’s reading. Furthermore, based on an ABC member survey conducted May 20-June 3, results indicate that confidence among U.S. construction industry leaders continued to rebound from the historically low levels observed in the March survey.

Nonresidential construction backlog is down 0.8 months compared to May 2019 and declined year over year in every industry, classification and region.

Backlog in the heavy industrial category, however, increased by nearly one month in May after reaching its lowest level in the history of the series in April.  

ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels expectations all increased in May, although sales and profit margin expectations remain below the threshold of 50, indicating ongoing expectations of contraction. The staffing level index remained above that threshold, with more than 38% of contractors expecting to expand their staff during the next six months.

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