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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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Nonresidential Construction Spending Surges in April

Today’s Census Bureau release regarding nonresidential construction spending did not just offer good news about April; it also supplied upwardly revised spending data for both February and March. Nonresidential spending expanded 3.2 percent on a monthly basis in April and spending totaled $646.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, according to the government’s initial estimate. Nonresidential construction is up by a solid 8.8 percent over the past year, consistent with ABC’s forecast of high single-digit growth. The Census Bureau also revised March’s nonresidential spending figure from $611.8 billion to $626.7 billion, and February’s figure from $613.1 billion to $618.4. Initial estimates suggested that nonresidential construction was sagging during the early months of the year; however, the new data indicate spending has expanded during each of the previous three months.

Construction Materials Prices Remain Tame in April

Prices for inputs to construction industries fell by 0.1 percent in April, ending a two month streak during which material prices expanded by greater than 0.4 percent. Prices have now fallen in six of the previous eight months and input prices are also down on a year-over-year basis, falling 4 percent since April 2014. This represents the greatest year-over-year decline since October 2009 and year-over-year input prices have now declined for 5 straight months after expanding in each of the previous 60 months. Prices for inputs to nonresidential construction showed a similar decline, falling 0.1 percent for the month and 5.1 percent year-over-year. Crude petroleum prices expanded for only the second time in the previous ten months, growing by 13.1 percent, the largest month-over-month increase since November 2011.

Nonresidential Construction Bounces Back with the Broader Economy

The U.S. construction industry added 45,000 jobs in April according to the May 8 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. March’s estimate was revised downward from -1,000 to -9,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 12,400 jobs in April, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way with 20,200 new jobs. Nonresidential building employment plummeted for the month, losing 7,800 jobs. The residential sector bounced back in April, adding 23,600 jobs.  

Construction Materials Prices Expand in March

Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded 0.8 percent in March, the largest monthly increase in more than two years, according to the April 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices have now expanded for two consecutive months after declining during the prior six; however input prices are down 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. March marks the fourth consecutive month year-over-year input prices have declined, the longest such streak since 2009. Crude petroleum prices fell 4 percent in March and have fallen in eight of the previous nine months.

Nonresidential Construction Employment Ticks up Despite Dismal Overall Jobs Report

Nonresidential construction added 5,000 net new jobs in March, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way by contributing 4,400 new jobs, according  to the April 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. As a whole, the U.S. construction industry lost 1,000 jobs in March, while February’s construction employment estimate (29,000 new jobs) was unrevised. The residential sector also regressed in March, losing 2,800 jobs.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Flat in February

Blame it on the weather – that is what many economists have been doing over the past two months as economic data continue to disappoint. Retail sales, durable goods orders and other categories have not been as strong as anticipated. 

Nonresidential Construction Employment Up Again Despite Weather, Oil Price Fluctuations

The U.S. construction industry added 29,000 jobs in February, according to the March 6 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. In addition, January’s construction estimate was revised upward from 39,000 to 49,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction added 12,000 net new jobs in February, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors and nonresidential building adding jobs while the heavy and civil engineering segment reduced employment.

Strong Jobs Report Boosted by Construction

The U.S. construction industry added 39,000 jobs in January, including 12,700 net new nonresidential jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimate released Feb. 6. December’s estimate was revised downward from 48,000 to 44,000 net new jobs. With revisions, nonresidential construction expanded by 21,200 jobs in December.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Expands in December

Nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in December 2014, according to the Feb. 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $627.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, 5.9 percent higher than December 2013. The government also upwardly revised November’s spending estimate from $617 billion to $624.8 billion and October’s figure from $623 billion to $627.4 billion.

Investment in Nonresidential Structures Expands Moderately in Fourth Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the fourth quarter of 2014, following a 5 percent increase in the third quarter according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis Jan. 30 release. Nonresidential fixed investment grew by only 1.9 percent after expanding 8.9 percent in the third quarter. Investment in equipment declined 1.9 percent, while investment in nonresidential structures increased 2.6 percent.