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Jane Francke's Articles

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.  “Job growth is fueling both consumer spending and the absorption of space, all of this is good for construction spending,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While construction spending has expanded by more than 12 percent over the past year, that is not to suggest that macroeconomic risks do not abound. Interest rates are likely to head higher going forward and there is no guarantee that energy prices will remain subdued. While low energy prices have caused some regional economies to slow, inv ...

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. “Construction was one of the few bright spots in today’s report as residential and nonresidential construction remain two of the nation’s five leading growth segments,” said Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors’ chief economist. “The industry’s unemployment rate is down 1.5 percentage points from September 2014 and is essentially at its lowest point in eight years. There are 125,000 fewer unemployed construction workers than there were one year ago, and construction employment is up by 205,000 positions on a year-over-year basis, one of the best pe ...

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.   “The global economy has continued to soften in recent weeks, with additional concerns directed at formerly fast-growing nations like China, Brazil and Russia,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Europe continues to muddle along and the Canadian economy remains relatively flat. All of this has conspired to weaken demand for global commodities even as supply of many inputs continues to be eleva ...

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