Many commercial HVAC equipment manufacturers are expecting to see modest growth this year, although the data so far are not encouraging. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), which is an economic indicator that measures the amount of nonresidential construction work under contract to be completed in the future, declined 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. In addition, the association’s first report of 2012 showed that nonresidential construction spending slipped 0.8 percent in January.
“The data should be viewed as rather disappointing,” said ABC’s chief economist Anirban Basu. “Because of January’s unseasonably warm temperatures across much of the nation, it seemed likely nonresidential construction volumes would increase. Instead, nonresidential construction spending dipped nearly one percent in January — adding to a list of data points that have been somewhat disappointing lately.”