For over 50 years, NCS has been the foremost authority in secured transactions. As the premier mechanic’s lien filer in North America, we provide services throughout the U.S. and Canada and across a myriad of construction industry verticals. Our extensive footprint, paired with decades of experience, affords us a unique perspective on economic trends in construction credit.
NCS’ Lien Index is derived from carefully monitored national and regional mechanic’s lien activity, construction economic data from various sources, and general economic trends. We’ve compiled and analyzed this data, to present to you in an easy-to-understand format. Our report includes NCS’ Lien Index, key economic indicators and trends, as well as our assessment on impacts to future construction business.
NCS’ Lien Index compares mechanic’s lien data quarter over quarter. The standard is zero (“0”), with a number greater than 0 representing an increase in mechanic’s lien activity and less than 0 representing a decrease in mechanic’s lien activity.
The Q4 Lien Index Score
The Lien Index jumped to 19.7% in Q4. Throughout Q4, national mechanic’s lien activity rose across all regions, though most significantly in the Midwest. The increased lien activity was as expected, and we anticipate high lien activity to continue into Q1 2022. Material costs, supply chain breakdowns, and labor shortages are continuing to pressure the industry and impede production schedules, and while the suggestion of an increase in interest rates in 2022 may combat inflation it will likely strain cash flow.
NCS Lien Index Key Influencers
- Construction Backlog Indicator rebounded in Q4.
- Architecture Billings Index ended 2021 with 11 months of growth.
- Material and labor shortages remain primary concerns.
- Total construction spending rose throughout the second half of 2021.
- Private construction spending continued a steady increase.
- Public construction spending declined in December after a flat start to Q4. Expect growth in 2022.
- Total construction employment ended Q4 at its highest for 2021.
- After several months of decrease, total construction unemployment inched up slightly by year end.
- Nonresidential construction employment jumped from August, ending high in December.