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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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Residential construction firms can partially insulate themselves from a market correction by understanding that different factors—each with their own unique causes and timing—affect the single and multi-family housing market.

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Let’s jump right into a discussion of some of the more interesting numbers to have appeared in recent public and private sector data releases. Exorbitant prices charged for nearly everything is seemingly top of mind for everyone, so that’s where we’ll begin. Is there relief in sight?

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

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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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Megaprojects Seized the Spotlight Again ConstructConnect announced today that July 2022’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $53.7 billion, an increase of +12.2% compared with June’s figure of $47.9 billion (originally reported as $47.5 billion).

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The August data released by the New York Federal Reserve for their Empire State Manufacturers Delivery Time Index pointed to a slight contractionary reading of -0.9. This marks the first time since COVID-19 that the Fed’s supply chain survey has pointed to faster supply chain performance.

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Changes are happening quickly with respect to costs and prices in the economy. This article, in tables and graphs, sets out the latest Producer Price Index results published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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ConstructConnect’s Expansion Index, a monthly measure of the dollar value of construction projects in planning compared to the same month one year ago, registered 10% overall expansion in Canada and 16% for the United States for the month of August 2022.

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It’ll be hard for anyone to find much fault with July’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of jobs gained during the month was +528,000, which beat the previous six-month average of +461,000. Interestingly, it was just about a match for January-to-June 2021’s average of +533,000.

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The problem of “you cannot sell what you do not have”—or some variation of that saying—became a near existential problem for many manufacturing and construction firms beginning in 2020. Even today this situation remains a problem for some companies and industries. The data on construction material prices, new orders, and unfilled orders during both the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and since 2020 bear this truth out and much more.

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