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News Sept. 13, 2023

Contractor optimism rose in August

Construction industry leaders’ confidence rose in August, according to Associated Builders and Contractors.

All three components increased for the month and remained above the diffusion index threshold of 50.

In August, ABC’s Construction Confidence Index increased from 60.4 to 60.7 for staffing levels; 57.9 to 58.1 for sales expectations; and 55 to 55.8 for profit margin expectations.

Additionally, ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator decreased from 9.3 months in July to 9.2 months in August, which is up 0.5 months from August 2022.

“There’s no sign of a construction recession in the near term,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “If anything, contractors are more upbeat, as policy and technology shifts along with economic transformation are creating substantial demand for improvements and growth in America’s built environment.

“While a plurality of contractors expects only small improvements in sales, profit margins and staffing over the next six months, even incremental improvement is remarkable in the context of tightening credit, higher project financing costs and lingering fears of recession,” Basu continued. “Backlog continues to be at the upper end of historic levels, with the infrastructure category registering substantial gains in backlog in August. That suggests that a growing number of public works projects are poised to break ground.”


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