Associated Builders and Contractors today reported that its index of construction backlogs rose to 9 months nationally during first quarter, with Western markets showing the most dramatic growth.
Greater Seattle commercial building projects are very evident, and similar trends dominate Denver, Silicon Valley, San Diego, Phoenix and other population growth hotspots.
“This is a terrific report” on Construction Backlog Indicators, says Anirban Basu, chief economist for the ABC trade group. “However, some contractors have expressed concerns regarding construction conditions in 2019 or 2020.”
Those future worries come from the already lengthy economic recovery, weak momentum in numerous public spending categories and tightening monetary conditions.
“Backlog is a ‘leading’ indicator,” Basu says, so “meaningful declines in CBI could potentially confirm fears that the current construction spending expansion cycle is winding to a close.”
But today’s quarterly report shows none of those feared declines yet.