homepage home
subscribe to Midwest Construction magazine subscribe
newsletters free e-newsletter
industry jobs industry jobs
Dodge Data & Analytics
Midwest Construction Logo
Order Your RISK FREE Subscription

Midwest's Construction Backlogs Trail Other Regions

Text size: A A

Midwest construction backlogs inched upward in the first quarter, from 5.51 months to 6.16 months, but finished a distant fourth behind those of other U.S. regions, according to data compiled by Washington, D.C.-based Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

Among other factors. ABC attributes the lag to “highly constrained public budgets” in major metro markets, including Chicago and Detroit. “When Chicago and Detroit continue to stumble, that limits how much the region can recover,” says ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Chicago continues to be burdened by high tax rates and underfunded pensions. Though it is attracting capital, Detroit has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.”

The South posted the highest backlogs (9.4 months) of all U.S. regions, followed by the Northeast (8.34 months) and the West (8.09 months).  However, both the South and Northeast posted declines of 0.13 months and 0.52 months, respectively, for the same period. The West posted a gain of .98 months.

In all, the nation posted a 2.8% decline in backlogs in the first quarter, an occurrence ABC partly attributes to harsh winter weather. The U.S. Construction Backlog Index currently stands at 8.1 months – down from 8.3 months in the previous quarter, but up from 7.9 months in year-over-year comparisons. 

By segment, “Only commercial/institutional saw a decrease in backlogs,” says Basu. “Retailers and other commercial [enterprises] have been seeking to build cash reserves rather than expand operational capacity, which helps explain the decline.”

Basu expects commercial backlogs to expand for the balance of the year due to increasing cash reserves and improving confidence among small businesses. 

----- Advertising -----


----- Advertising -----
Blog: ENR Midwest Musings
ENR Midwest Musings delivers the latest news, insights and opinions about construction & design in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri, as well as Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota.
Reader Photos
Photos from ENR Photo Showcase
Dodge Lead Center
Search for local construction projects OR CALL 877-234-4246 and get a FREE Lead Now!
Search by Project Type & State

----- Advertising -----
 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.