Construction Material Prices ‘Rising Rapidly’

July 13, 2018

Economic progress is dwindling in the eyes of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) economists who reported a nearly 10% gain in 2018 construction material prices in June over last year. ABC noted a 9.6% increase in prices compared to 2017, with a 9.8% gain in nonresidential construction, during its analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released July 11.

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Dodge Momentum Index Increases in June

July 11, 2018

The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) is inching forward after a revised May reading. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, the index increased less than one percent to 165.5 from May’s 164.2. The index reports nonresidential building projects at the initial planning stage. This has been shown as a leading indicator for construction spending over the next 12-month period.

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Brexit Affecting Construction Firms

July 9, 2018

With less than nine months until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, many are already feeling the effect of Brexit. According to a recent report from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), a third of construction employers are being impacted by the U.K.’s referendum to exit the EU, which is up 9% from just a year ago.

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Saskatchewan to Introduce Prompt Payment Legislation

July 6, 2018

Another Canadian province is updating legislation to help the construction industry. Initial amendments to Ontario’s Construction Lien Act went into effect July 1, increasing lien time tables to give contractors and subcontractors an extra 15 days to preserve a lien. New rules to prompt payments will go into effect in fall 2019. Saskatchewan is following suit with a similar prompt payment legislation.

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Nonresidential Construction Spending Continues to Increase, Private Looks Unstable

July 3, 2018 The demand for single-family homes remains high with nonresidential construction spending also on the increase. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) found nonresidential construction spending rose 0.1% from April to May, seeing a total increase of 3% from last year. Despite this increase for the public sector, the private sector saw a dip of 0.3% in May. The private sector still saw a small increase of 1.8% for the year, even with the setback from April to May. Economic expansion and state policymakers likely contributed to the public increase, ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu speculates. Throughout the past 10 years, the economy has been expanding in both the local and state government, allowing for more money to be spent on more projects. Similarly, 31 states expanded transportation funding, with 24 taxing gas prices for the public sector. Overseas trade wars and tariffs likely contributed to the fall in the private sector, yet the overall increase from last year remains bewildering still. With uncertainty in the market, those working on private projects need to remain cautious while international politics continue to disrupt the system. The next few quarters, Basu said, will likely be much different for the private sector. —Christie Citranglo, editorial associate
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American Homebuilders Incorporate Robots Into Workforce

June 27, 2018

With the demand up for single-family homes and the amount of laborers down, homebuilders explore the use of robots on the job. With 910,000 homes expected to be built by the end of 2018, creative problem solving kicks in with robots taking on the jobs more quickly and for much less cost than a traditional labor force.

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Millennials Boost New Home Sales in May

June 26, 2018

More Millennials shifting to the single-family housing market are behind the latest boost in new home sales—the second-highest reported sales in roughly a decade. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, single-family home sales increased 6.7% in May, following a 1.5% decline in April.

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Construction Material Prices in May Spell ‘Bad News’ for Sector

June 21, 2018

May’s construction material prices are “bad news” for the sector, according to Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), following its analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that revealed the largest monthly increase in a decade. The latest data, released on June 13, indicated a 2.2% increase month-over-month (MoM) and an 8.8% increase since May 2017.

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Builder Confidence Dips Slightly in June

June 19, 2018

Builder confidence for newly-built single-family homes took a step back in June, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The index dipped to 68 this month, just shy of the six-month average of 70.

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Year-Over-Year Nonresidential Construction Spending Jumps 6% in April

June 6, 2018

Although there was no fluctuation in April’s month-over-month (MoM) nonresidential construction spending, the U.S. Census Bureau revealed a 6% gain over last year’s spending, the highest year-over-year (YOY) increase coming from within the conservation and development sector. In its analysis of the bureau’s data, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported boosts in YOY private and public-sector spending by 5.3% and 7.3%, respectively.

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