Non-residential contractor confidence rose in August, Builders shrugged off fears of a looming recession and thus held steady despite evidence that the Fed will need to further escalate its war on inflation with higher interest rates, according to Associated Builders and Contractors.
ABC’s construction backlog measure, which measures the month in which construction contractors have won bids but has not yet started construction, was 8.7 months in August, unchanged from July and a full month higher than August 2021. Sustained levels came from growth in the commercial and institutional sectors, as well as heavy industrial projects, even as bookings for infrastructure projects declined.
results helped buoy contractor optimism about sales, staffing and most notably profit margins over the next six months, all of which were up from July’s figures but still below levels a year ago. Profit forecasts for this year have been affected by persistent inflation and rising personnel costs.
“The boom in the national non-residential construction market has really been remarkable,” said ABC chief executive Anirban Basu The Economist, in a press release. “Rising interest rates have pushed the single-family homebuilding market into recession, but brisk non-residential activity continues.”