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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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There are few indicators that serve as a better barometer of the health of America’s manufacturing sector than the Institute for Supply Management’s New Orders Index. Each month the ISM surveys thousands of manufacturers, asking them if their latest month’s orders are up, the same, or down compared to the prior month.

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According to CME Group, an American global markets company and exchange operator, and The Wall Street Journal, CME Group will be introducing a new futures contract using ticker “LBR” starting as early as August 2022. This could be a significant benefit to smaller sawmills along with general and trades contractors involved in housing construction. Among the primary reasons are:

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In the United States in June, according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs creation maintained a strong pace, +372,000, although it didn’t quite keep up with the average through the first five months of this year, +474,000.

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Excluding the extraordinary events of mid-2020 caused by the onset of COVID-19, net issues of corporate debt from the United States by nonfinancial sources contracted during the first quarter of 2022.

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In stock market parlance, a bear market refers to a decline from recent peak of -20% or more.

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Earlier this month Amazon canceled or delayed the construction of over a dozen new warehouse structures. This news comes not long after the company posted its first quarterly pre-tax income loss since 2014; however, this was in part a result of the company’s acquisition of MGM Studios in early 2022. Excluding the acquisition, income from continuing operations was reported for Q1 2022 at $-3.84 billion.

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Triggered by mortgage rate increases, expectations concerning housing starts in the United States and Canada have been scaled back. Nevertheless, the starts statistics are holding up not too badly to this point in time.

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The last two years of supply chain disruptions have offered a real-world paradigm about the fundamentals of supply and demand and their absolute influence on prices. Among the many construction materials which have experienced extreme price fluctuations since 2020, few have been more volatile than lumber. Soaring demand for residential construction in recent years coupled with COVID-induced capacity reductions has seen wholesale lumber prices cycle through several rounds of extreme price hikes followed by significant declines.

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The economy of Texas was a standout among states before the recent climb in energy prices. Now, it’s shifted into overdrive.

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Since climbing interest rates are a primary concern governing the outlook for construction activity and since the reason interest rates are being adjusted upwards by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada is to slow the economy and dampen demand for many consumer goods, the topic of runaway inflation has taken on huge significance.

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