Construction Economic News

Stay up to date on the latest construction economic news and get in-depth analysis and insights from Chief Economist Alex Carrick and Senior Economist Michael Guckes.

Michael Guckes, Senior Economist

Michael Guckes is Senior Economist for ConstructConnect. He is an international speaker on the North American construction market. Michael has over a decade of economics-related experience in the construction and manufacturing industries.

Blog Feature

By: Michael Guckes, Senior Economist
June 14th, 2023

After surging to notable peaks of $1,400 per contract in May 2021 and a similarly impressive $1,300 in February 2022, the continuous contract prices for Random Length Lumber are currently in search of a market floor. As of May 15, 2023, prices had plummeted to $344, marking a three-year low that was only slightly surpassed by the knee-jerk collapse in prices during the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the disruption caused by the pandemic, lumber prices had traded within a narrow range of $390 to $440 per contract.

Blog Feature

When it comes to determining the interest rate that a company must pay to borrow capital, everything is relative. The interest rate that the safest, or least risky, borrowers are charged to borrow is often called the risk-free rate.

Blog Feature

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.

Blog Feature

Earlier this year ConstructConnect began publishing the Project Stress Index, a proprietary resource tracking the weekly level of projects failing to move towards expected completion.

Blog Feature

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.

Blog Feature

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.

Blog Feature

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.

Blog Feature

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.

Blog Feature

By: Michael Guckes, Senior Economist
April 18th, 2023

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.

Blog Feature

By: Michael Guckes, Senior Economist
April 13th, 2023

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.