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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.

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The foreign trade picture in the United States has worsened considerably. The goods trade balance has deteriorated to -$1.5 trillion USD. That’s an all-time deepest level.

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There’s much subject matter to be wrestled with in the pool of recent public and private sector data releases, so let’s leave our piña coladas (nonalcoholic, of course) beside our deck chairs and dive right in.

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The accompanying table records the top 10 project starts in the United States for April 2022.

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Finally, Megaprojects Galore ConstructConnect announced today that April 2022's volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $52.6 billion, an increase of +50.7% (i.e., by half) versus March’s figure of $34.9 billion (previously reported as $34.4 billion).

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Clichés are often true and it is the case that a picture can be worth a thousand words.

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April was not a good period for stock markets. In North America, on a month-to-month basis, the DJI was -4.9%; the TSE -5.2%; the S&P 500, -8.8%; and NASDAQ, -13.3%.

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Turmoil in the stock markets, an inflation rate that won’t quit and interest rates that have only just begun their journey higher failed to deter robust U.S. jobs growth in April. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its April Employment Situation report, asserts that total U.S. employment climbed upwards by 428,000 positions in the latest month.

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Table 1 is a one-place depiction of the key percentage-change metrics for the 2022 Q1 put-in-place construction dollar volume statistics from the Census Bureau.

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The breakouts in U.S. construction material input costs showed few signs of abating in March.

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U.S. current (March) inflation of +8.5% year over year for the Consumer Price Index (i.e., known as CPI-U, with the U signifying that it’s for urban consumers) is the highest this century. It’s more than four times greater than the +2.0% figure usually accepted as the desirable target. A little inflation is judged to be a good thing for the economy. By making it easier to pay off loans, it greases the wheels of industry.

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