Associated Builders and Contractors reported Feb. 16 that its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the fourth quarter of 2010 averaged 7.1 months, up from seven months in the third quarter of the prior year, reflecting an improvement of 1.4 percent.

The trade association said its CBI is a forward-looking indicator that measures the amount of construction work under contract to be completed in the future.

ABC represents more than 23,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms nationally with nearly two million employees 

“Today’s backlog numbers are consistent with the pace of recovery in overall nonresidential construction activity,” said Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist. “However, what we are seeing from the fourth quarter 2010 data is a recovery in the construction industry that is more gradual than the rate of expansion in financial markets and the broader economy.”