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ABC's Construction Economic Update covers the latest commercial and industrial construction economic news. Delivered electronically, it provides an analysis of the monthly economic indices released by the federal government, including construction spending, employment, the producer price index and the quarterly gross domestic product.  

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Posts Tagged 'Construction Economics'

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Construction’s Percentage Job Gains Lead All Economic Sectors in October

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 6—The U.S. construction industry added more jobs in October than during the previous four months combined, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Construction employment expanded by 31,000 net new jobs last month after adding 12,000 jobs in September (revised upward from 8,000). Nonresidential construction employment increased by 20,100 jobs in October after adding 11,100 jobs in September (revised upward from 6,800).

September’s Nonresidential Spending Slip No Cause for Concern, ABC Says

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 2—Nonresidential construction spending fell in September for the first time in eight months, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today, but the monthly drop in spending is not a cause for concern according to analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential construction spending fell by 0.1 percent from August, totaling $692.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis.

Construction Material Prices Plunge in September

Prices for inputs to construction industries plunged 1.6 percent in September after shedding 0.9 percent in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Year-over-year prices were down 5.3 percent for the month, the largest yearly decrease since October of 2009. Inputs to nonresidential construction prices also declined, losing 1.6 percent for the month and 6 percent for the year. Only three of the 11 key input prices expanded on a monthly basis in September, while six experienced double-digit year-over-year declines, according to analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors.

Construction Employment Rises Despite Lackluster National Jobs Report

U.S. construction industry employment edged higher in September despite a disappointing jobs report for the overall U.S. economy. The number of construction jobs expanded by 8,000 on a net basis in September, with nonresidential builders and specialty trade contractors collectively creating 6,800 of those net new jobs. The number of jobs in the heavy and civil engineering category declined by 2,200, however.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Expands for Seventh Consecutive Month

August marked the seventh consecutive month nonresidential construction spending expanded according to an Oct. 1 release supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nonresidential spending totaled $696.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis in August, a 0.3 percent increase from the previous month and a 12.3 percent increase from the same time last year. The Census Bureau downwardly revised July’s estimate from $696.1 billion to $694.1 billion.

Construction Materials Dip for Second Consecutive Month

Prices for inputs to the construction industry fell 0.9 percent in August after shedding 0.1 percent in July. Inputs to nonresidential construction behaved similarly, losing 0.8 percent for the month and 4.7 percent for the year.

Difficulty in Finding Skilled Construction Workers Evident in Jobs Report

U.S. construction industry employment rose 0.1 percent in July and added 6,000 net new jobs, while the construction unemployment rate shed 0.8 percentage points and now stands at 5.5 percent. Nonresidential construction employment fell by 4,600 jobs in July after losing 800 jobs in June. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors lost 3,700 jobs for the month, while the nonresidential building sector declined by 900 jobs. Residential construction and the heavy and civil engineering segment added 8,200 and 2,900 net new jobs in July, respectively.

Nonresidential Fixed Investment Falls in Second Quarter

Nonresidential fixed investment fell by 0.6 percent during the second quarter after expanding by 1.6 percent during the first quarter, according to the July 30 real gross domestic product (GDP) report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). For the economy as a whole, real GDP expanded by 2.3 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the second quarter following a 0.6 percent increase during the year’s first quarter. Note that the first quarter estimate for nonresidential fixed investment was revised upward from -3.4 percent annualized growth.

Construction Materials Prices up for May, Down for Year

Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded by 1.1 percent in May, the largest month-over-month increase in more than two years and only the third time in the past 10 months that construction input prices have grown on a monthly basis. Year-over-year prices fell by 3 percent in May and have now fallen by more than 3 percent in each of the year’s first five months. The last time this occurred was the third and fourth quarter of 2009. Only three of the 11 key construction inputs—nonferrous wire and cable, crude petroleum and crude energy materials—experienced monthly price increases in May.

Nonresidential Construction Growth Continues in May

The U.S. construction industry added 17,000 jobs in May according to the June 5 preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. April’s estimate was revised downward from 45,000 to 35,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 8,200 jobs in May, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors adding 5,600 jobs and nonresidential building employment expanding by 2,600 jobs. Residential construction employment added 8,500 net new jobs for the month.