By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
The Associated Builders and Contractors report that its Construction Backlog Indicator increased to 9.3 months in July 2023, according to an ABC member survey conducted July 20 through August 4.
The reading is up by 0.6 months since July of 2022. The South remains the U.S. region with the highest level of backlog, despite being the only region with lower backlog compared to a year ago in July. Backlog gains in July were concentrated in the commercial and institutional category.
“Nonresidential construction backlog continues to expand, which is precisely what contractors had predicted six months ago,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “For many months, contractors have been signaling an exception that demand for their services would continue to expand despite high and rising interest rates and a spate of regional bank failures.”
That said, Basu adds, backlog declined in both the infrastructure and heavy industry categories. “This is possibly because the current administration is striving to reserve many large-scale projects for unionized firms,” he said.
ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator quantifies the previous month’s work under contract based on the latest financials available.