ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator steady in August, contractors remain confident

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator declined to 9.2 months in August, down 0.1 month, according to an ABC member survey conducted from Aug. 21 to Sept. 6. The reading is 0.5 months above the August 2022 level.
Quarry Products / September 15, 2023
By Guy Woodford
ABC reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator declined to 9.2 months in August, down 0.1 month. Pic: Hanna Tverdokhlib

View ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index tables for August. View the full Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index data series.


Backlog decreased monthly for all company size categories except those with more than $100 million in annual revenues. In contrast, only the smallest two revenue categories have a higher backlog than August 2022.

ABC Construction Backlog Indicator
ABC's Construction Backlog Indicator & Construction Confidence Index. Pic: ABC


ABC’s Construction Confidence Index reading for sales, profit margins, and staffing levels increased in August. All three readings remain above 50, indicating growth expectations over the next six months.


“There’s no sign of a construction recession in the near term,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “If anything, contractors are more upbeat, as policy and technology shifts along with economic transformation, are creating substantial demand for improvements and growth in America’s built environment.


“While a plurality of contractors expects only small improvements in sales, profit margins and staffing over the next six months, even incremental improvement is remarkable in the context of tightening credit, higher project financing costs and lingering fears of recession,” said Basu. “Backlog continues to be at the upper end of historic levels, with the infrastructure category registering substantial gains in backlog in August. That suggests that a growing number of public works projects is poised to break ground.”

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