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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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For media inquiries, contact Jeff Leieritz at leieritz@abc.org.

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.  Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Prices Rise for First Time in Six Months

The largest monthly gain in petroleum prices in over three years caused construction materials prices to expand 0.4 percent in February, ending a six-month streak when prices failed to rise, according to the March 13 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices fell 3.9 percent. Nonresidential construction input prices also rose 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and 4.9 percent on a yearly basis. Read the rest of entry »

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. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Dips in January

Nonresidential construction spending fell 2 percent in January, which is the largest setback to spending since January 2014, according to the March 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, at $614.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, nonresidential construction spending still is 4.8 percent higher than one year ago. In addition, the spending estimate for December 2014 was revised downward from $627.1 billion to $627 billion and November’s figure was revised from $624.8 billion to $621.9 billion. 
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Construction Materials Prices Plummet in First Month of 2015

Construction input prices dipped 2 percent in January 2015 and have now failed to rise for six consecutive months, according to the Feb. 18 producer price index (PPI) release from the U.S. Department of Labor. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices are down 3.6 percent. In addition, nonresidential construction input prices fell 2.1 percent on a monthly basis and 4.6 percent on a yearly basis.
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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. Read the rest of entry »

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. Read the rest of entry »

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. Read the rest of entry »

Construction Materials Prices Dip in December

Construction input prices dipped 1.4 percent during the final month of 2014 and are down nearly 1 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the Jan. 15 producer price index release from the U.S. Department of Labor. Inputs to nonresidential construction fell even farther, down 1.7 percent for the month and 1.9 percent year over year. December’s report marks the sharpest decline in input prices since late 2008 during the global financial crisis and the fifth consecutive month construction materials prices have failed to rise.
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Nonresidential Construction Hiring Surges

The U.S. construction industry added 48,000 jobs in December, including 22,800 jobs in nonresidential construction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimate released Jan. 9. November’s estimate was unchanged in this release, remaining at 20,000 net new construction jobs, but nonresidential construction’s November jobs figure was upwardly revised to 7,100 jobs.
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