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Market watch: Track construction's economic health | Dump Trucks Charlotte NC

Industry experts, economists and construction executives rely on a long list of economic indicators to help them forecast the future of the business. But predicting what's on the horizon is tricky, said Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu, because construction activity generally lags behind other sectors of the economy.

"It is among the last segments to enter a downturn and among the last to begin to recover," he told Construction Dive.

That makes tracking the health of related sectors and the economy overall important. Below, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the national indicators that are most cited by those in the construction industry, along with links to keep tabs on each. They include:

  • Federal government reports
  • Association reports
  • Indexes
  • Residential construction reports
  • Stocks to watch

This article is the third of a three-part series looking at how construction pros weather the ups and downs of the U.S. economy. Click here for part one and here for part two. 


U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Gross Domestic Product
Compiled quarterly, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the most influential measures that affect U.S. financial markets, demonstrating the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced in the U.S. in a specific time period. As a broad measure of overall domestic production, it functions as a comprehensive scorecard of the country’s economic health.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment, Unemployment, and Openings, Hires, and Separations for Construction

BLS provides monthly information relating to employment and unemployment in construction. Its tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, job openings and labor turnover, union membership and representation, gross job gains and losses, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for Construction

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program produces data on job openings, hires, and separations.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Construction Input Prices

BLS's Construction Input Prices list is based on the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output.

U.S. Federal Reserve System
Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices
This quarterly survey of up to 80 large domestic banks and 24 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks looks at changes in the standards and terms of the banks' lending and the state of business and household demand for loans. 

Federal Reserve System
Beige Book

Commonly known as the Beige Book, the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District is published eight times a year. It includes information from each of the country's Federal Reserve Banks about current economic conditions in each district.  

U.S. Census Bureau
Value of Construction Put in Place

This survey provides estimates of the total dollar value of construction columbus oh dump truck company done in the U.S. each month on new private residential and non-residential construction, public construction, and improvements to existing buildings and infrastucture. The report includes the cost of labor, materials, architectural and engineering work, overhead costs, interest and taxes paid during construction and contractor’s profits.


Associated Builders and Contractors
Construction Backlog Indicator

This monthly national economic indicator reflects the amount of columbus oh dump truck company that will be performed by commercial, institutional, industrial and infrastructure columbus oh dump truck company in the months ahead. 

Associated Builders and Contractors
Construction Confidence Index

This monthly index signals construction contractors’ expectations for sales, profit margins and staffing levels.

Associated General Contractors of America
Construction Data - Producer Prices and Employment Costs

Each month, AGC puts out tables and an explanation showing historical and recent changes in producer price indexes and employment cost indexes for construction materials, building types and subcontractor segments.

Associated General Contractors of America
Construction Employment by Metro Area

AGC's monthly commentary on construction employment in the U.S. includes tables ranking every state by employment change and tables ranking 358 metro areas by employment change. AGC also conducts periodic surveys on worker availability and contractors' assessments of market conditions and publishes a spreadsheet of construction employment by state and congressional district.

American Institute of Architects
Architecture Billings Index

Updated monthly, the Architecture Billings Index follows nonresidential construction activity, with a lead time of approximately nine to 12 months. The index is derived from AIA’s Work-on-the-Boards survey, which gathers data on shifts in billings from architectural firm leaders across the country


Rider Levett Bucknall 
Crane Index

Published biannually, RLB’s Crane Index for North America documents the number of operating tower cranes in 13 major cities across the U.S. and Canada. It tracks the number of fixed cranes on construction sites and gives a simplified measure of the current state of the construction industry’s workload in each location. 

USG Corp. + U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Commercial Construction Index

The quarterly index forecasts the direction of the construction industry based on three key factors across regions and trades – backlog levels, new business opportunities and revenue forecasts – to measure how columbus oh dump truck company feel about the health and vitality of commercial construction.

Dodge Data & Analytics
Dodge Momentum Index

The Dodge Momentum Index is a monthly report that provides a 12-month indication for construction spending for nonresidential building projects.

Commercial Construction Index

Marcum LLP is one of the country's largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms, Marcum LLP offers a quarterly report on the health of the country's commercial construction industry.


U.S. Census Bureau/Department of Housing and Urban Development
Monthly New Residential Construction
This report provides national and regional data on the number of new, privately owned housing units authorized by building permits; authorized, but not started; started; under construction; and completed. 

National Association of Home Builders
Housing Market Index

The HMI is based on a monthly survey of NAHB members that rates market conditions for the sale of new homes at the present time and in the next six months as well as the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes.​


The stock market is an often-cited indicator for the U.S. economy. It reflects how well all listed companies are doing and assesses how valuable investors think the columbus oh dump truck company is. The publicly traded commercial construction firms are:

FLR Quotes by TradingView


ACM Quotes by TradingView


SKBSY Quotes by TradingView


MDR Quotes by TradingView


TPC Quotes by TradingView


BAFYY Quotes by TradingView


LLESY Quotes by TradingView

In addition to the publicly traded contracting firms, other companies' stocks are considered to be bellwethers for construction and are followed to determine the direction of the industry in the short term. They include:

DE Quotes by TradingView​


CAT Quotes by TradingView


DAN Quotes by TradingView


VLVLY Quotes by TradingView


TEX Quotes by TradingView


OSK Quotes by TradingView

ALSN Quotes by TradingView​

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