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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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U.S. Permits Still Setting the Pace for Starts The average of seasonally adjusted and annualized housing starts in the United States through the first two months of 2022 has been 1.713 million units, +11.5% versus January-to-February of 2021.

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February Weighed Down by Weather & Host of Worries ConstructConnect announced today that February 2022's volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $25.7 billion, a decline of -14.3% compared with January's figure of $30.0 billion (previously reported as $29.2 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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The accompanying table records the top 10 project starts in the U.S. for February 2022.

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(1) The latest inflation figure for the United States, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is +7.9%, a several-decades high. It’s the year-over-year percentage change in February’s all-items Consumer Price Index, for all urban consumers. The core rate of inflation, which excludes price-volatile food and energy items, is +6.4% y/y. The fact everyone is being ensnared in the strong price advances is captured by the performance of the CPI subcategory, food at home, which has ballooned to +8.6% y/y.

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Statistics Canada’s new Labour Force Survey report expels the bad memories from the previous month. The -200,000 net jobs figure for January was pushed aside by the +337,000 number for February.

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A few days ago, ConstructConnect posted an article on U.S. construction material cost increases. Now it’s Canada’s turn.

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February was another great month for jobs creation in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as set out in the latest Employment Situation report, the total number of positions nationwide rose by +678,000.

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When talking with developers and design firms these days, the discussion will quickly turn to the extraordinarily rapid upticks in material and other construction input costs and how they are causing some owners to put project go-aheads on pause while they go back to their teams for suggestions on possible alterations that will return estimated costs closer to initial estimates.

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When it comes to new residential construction in the United States, building permit figures in units are generally accepted as a good proxy (or fill-in) for housing starts.

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