CBI Hits Post-Recession High
The Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Backlog Indicator hit a post-recession high in the fourth quarter of 2013, growing from 8.2 months to 8.3 months, or 1.3 percent, according to ABC. Compared to a year ago, the CBI is 3.9 percent higher—up from 8 months at the end of 2012.
“CBI indicates the final three quarters of 2013 were a period of progress for nonresidential construction,” said Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist. “Although CBI’s pace of expansion should be enough to keep the nonresidential construction recovery going, there are significant headwinds for the industry. Because the economic recovery continues to be driven disproportionately by consumer outlays spending and associated retail inventory accumulation, the commercial/institutional category will experience expanding backlog,” Basu said.
Commercial and institutional construction has the longest backlog at 8.91 months because of job growth in professional and business services and expansion in certain healthcare-related segments, according to ABC. Infrastructure and heavy industrial construction have seen backlog slip on a yearly basis.