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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 Inches Lower in March

Nonresidential construction spending has now declined during each of the year’s first three months, according to a May 1 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
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Nonresidential Fixed Investment’s Winning Streak Shattered in the First Quarter

Nonresidential fixed investment fell 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, after expanding 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the April 29 gross domestic product (GDP) report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP expanded just 0.2 percent, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, during the first quarter, following a 2.2 percent increase during the final quarter of 2014.  Read the rest of entry »

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. Read the rest of entry »

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. Read the rest of entry »

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 »
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