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From the category archives: Economics

Nonresidential Spending Reaches New High in August

National nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.7 percent in August to its highest level since the U.S. Census Bureau began the data series in 2002, according to an ABC analysis. Total nonresidential spending stood at $762.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate in August, which represents an increase of 8.4 percent compared to one year ago. Private nonresidential spending fell 0.2 percent in August largely due to a 1.3 percent decline in power-related spending and public nonresidential spending increased 2 percent. Read the rest of entry »

ABC Highlights Economic Benefits of Tax Reform on Small Businesses in Congressional Testimony

Larry Lopez, president and chief executive officer of Green JobWorks, Baltimore, and chairman of ABC’s Diversity Committee, testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access on how recent economic growth is positively impacting local communities. Lopez outlined how small businesses—which account for the majority of U.S. construction firms—are benefiting because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other pro-business policies implemented by Congress and the Trump administration. Read the rest of entry »

Contractors Remain Upbeat in Q2, According to ABC’s Latest Construction Confidence Index

Construction contractors remained confident during the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest Construction Confidence Index released today by ABC. More than three in four construction firms expect that sales will continue to rise over the next six months, while three in five expect higher profit margins. More than seven in 10 expect to bolster staffing levels, though that proportion has fallen relative to the previous quarter, perhaps in part due to the skilled labor shortage in the United States.  Read the rest of entry »

ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator Hits a New High in Second Quarter of 2018

ABC reports that its Construction Backlog Indicator expanded to a record 9.9 months during the second quarter of 2018. Backlog is up 12.2 percent from the first quarter and 14 percent compared to the same time last year. “Construction backlog has never been higher in the history of this series,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While contractors collectively reported a higher backlog, it was the industrial contractor segment that had the largest increase in the second quarter.” Read the rest of entry »

Construction Employment Retains Momentum in August

The U.S. construction industry added 23,000 net new jobs in August, an increase from the 18,000 net new jobs added in July, according to an ABC analysis of data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 297,000 net new jobs since August 2017, a 4.3 percent increase. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 9,600 net jobs in August, although the heavy and civil engineering category lost 200 net jobs for the month. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Fall in August

Prices for inputs to construction fell 0.5 percent in August but are 8.1 percent higher than at the same time one year ago, according to an ABC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.4 percent in August but are up 8.3 percent year-over-year. Softwood lumber prices plummeted 9.6 percent in August yet are up 5 percent on a yearly basis (down from a 19.5 percent increase year-over-year in July). Read the rest of entry »

Public Nonresidential Construction Up in July

National nonresidential construction spending declined 0.3 percent in July, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Total nonresidential spending stood at $748.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate in July, an increase of 5.3 percent from the same time last year. Private nonresidential spending fell 1 percent in July, while public nonresidential spending expanded 0.7 percent. Read the rest of entry »

July Construction Unemployment Rates Down in Every State Year Over Year

For the second time this year, estimated July construction unemployment rates fell in every state and nationally on a year-over-year basis, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by ABC. The July 2018 not seasonally adjusted national construction unemployment rate fell 1.5 percent to 3.4 percent from July 2017. At the same time, the construction industry employed 303,000 more workers nationally compared to July 2017, according to BLS statistics. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Material Prices Inch Down in July

Prices for inputs to construction fell 0.2 percent in July but are 9.5 percent higher than a year ago, according to an ABC analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Nonresidential construction input prices increased fell 0.3 percent in July but are up 9.6 percent year over year. Softwood lumber prices are up 19.5 percent from July 2017, while iron and steel prices are up 13.4 percent. Read the rest of entry »

Treasury Releases Additional Guidance for Tax Compliance Under New Law

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced proposed rules to provide critical guidance on the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The proposals would affect tax provisions affecting the construction industry, including temporary 100 percent expensing, the 20 percent deduction on qualified business income for pass-through entities and the implementation of the repatriation transition tax under section 965 as it relates to U.S. shareholders with accumulated foreign earnings. Read the rest of entry »
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