On May 15th, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) released its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the first quarter of 2012. CBI declined 5.4 percent from the previous quarter, dipping from 7.8 months to 7.4 months, but is slightly higher compared to the first quarter of 2011. CBI is a forward-looking economic indicator that measures the amount of construction work under contract to be completed in the future.
- Compared to the first quarter of 2011, construction backlog is slightly higher in every region with the exception of the Northeast.
- In the West, construction backlog expanded by 0.46 months from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of this year.
- The Middle States have the shortest backlog at 6.34 months and the South continues to register the lengthiest backlog at 8.88 months.
- During the first quarter of 2012, average construction backlog for commercial and institutional, and heavy industrial declined by less than half a month. Infrastructure fell by .52 months.
- The commercial/institutional segment of construction backlog expanded from 7.26 months in the first quarter of 2011 to 7.65 months in the first quarter of this year.
- Average construction backlog in the heavy industrial category slipped to 5.24 months this quarter – the worst performance in the history of this segment.
Highlights by Company Size
- Construction backlog for mid-sized firms with annual revenue between $30 and $50 million expanded substantially, rising nearly two months during the first quarter.
- Construction backlog declined for firms with less than $30 million in annual revenue to an average of 6.72 months.
- Firms with annual revenues in excess of $50 million have not experienced backlog expansion during the past year.