Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the first quarter of 2011 averaged 7.3 months, a 4 % increase from 7.1 months during the fourth quarter of 2010, and up from 6.1 months, or an increase of 21%, from one year ago. CBI is a forward-looking indicator that measures the amount of construction work under contract to be completed in the future.
Regional highlights include:
The Northeast, led by recovery in financial services and technology, and the Middle States, led by growth in activity related to natural resources and industrial production, have experienced significant backlog expansion in recent quarters.
The South continues to report the lengthiest backlog of any major region, with backlog rising by more than a month, up from 7 months to 8.2 months, over the past two quarters. Over the past four quarters, backlog is up by 1.75 months.
Despite recent growth, the Middle States continue to experience the smallest backlog on average, largely because this region of the country experienced the sharpest reduction in backlog during the worst of the economic downturn.