South Produces Record Backlog

The third quarter was a big one for commercial and industrial construction backlog in the South.

Project backlog in the region reached 10.3 months, the highest reading in the history of the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), according to third-quarter results announced by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

Nationally, the CBI remained virtually unchanged at 8.5 for the quarter, although it has declined by 3.5 percent year-over-year.

“Nonresidential construction remains one of the nation’s leading engines of economic growth,” says ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “Industry spending is up 11 percent on a year-over-year basis, and the most recent backlog indicator strongly suggests that construction volumes will continue to recover. Unlike prior years, both the private and public sectors are now contributing to spending growth.”

The South continues to be associated with large-scale projects that help drive the construction backlog higher. After a lull in backlog growth, many Louisiana contractors are indicating a surge in backlog associated with industrial projects,” according to ABC. Commercial activity in Florida continues to increase in almost every major city.

The Northeast boasts the second highest CBI reading after the South, with public spending increasingly supporting activity in states like Maryland and Pennsylvania.