Construction Economic News
Among the real estate firms listed on the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, earnings per share in Q4 2022 stood at $1.21, reflecting a significant decline of 46% and 49% compared to the levels recorded one quarter and one year ago, respectively. Certainly, 2022’s rising interest rate environment was a significant headwind as the sector is highly dependent on floating interest rates which during the past year rose at their fast rate in history.
On May 10, 2023, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest Consumer Price Index data. The release’s broadest measure of prices, the All Items reading, marked its 10th consecutive month in which year-on-year inflation slowed.
Earlier this year ConstructConnect began publishing the Project Stress Index, a proprietary resource that tracks the weekly level of projects failing to move towards expected completion. The strength of the Project Stress Index resides in its ability to monitor the weekly level of projects that have had their bid date delayed, have been put on hold, or have been abandoned.
Earlier this year ConstructConnect began publishing a new data product named the Project Stress Index. The strength of the PSI resides in its ability to monitor the weekly level of projects that have had their bid date delayed, have been put on hold, or have been abandoned. The independent rise and fall in the level of projects experiencing each type of event, along with their interdependent behavior, may better allow market watchers to distinguish normal market volatility from actual turns in the market.
As the banking industry reels from some of the largest bank failures in history, many banks—and in particular regional banks—have quickly tightened their lending standards for fear of making loans that may one day sour. This means that many quality construction firms with good credit histories are being denied loans that they would have received just a year ago.
Supply chain data collected by Federal Reserve banks across the United States have all reported quickening supplier delivery times since at least the end of 2022. In some geographies, supply chain performance has been steadily improving since mid-2022, and the pace at which improvement is occurring continues to accelerate rapidly. The greatest supply chain improvement appears to be along the East Coast, according to data collected by the Federal Reserves of New York and Philadelphia.
The March 10, 2023, collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, followed days later by the failure of Signature Bank, sent shockwaves through financial markets. The cause of their failures was similar in that both experienced dramatic deposits growth in the years just prior to the latest surge in inflation and rates.
The March release of ConstructConnect’s Expansion Index registered another month of impressive gains for the construction industry across both the United States and Canada. At the national level, the U.S. index result reported a sequential month of strong double-digit gains, while Canada’s reading posted a six-month high.
U.S. import prices increased by 0.8% year-on-year for the period ending January 31, 2023. The latest reading is the lowest since 2020, when import prices temporarily contracted due to legislation that shut down the economy, causing a short-lived decline in demand. It marks a near plateau in import prices which, as recently as March 2022, were rising in excess of 13% on an annual basis.