Construction Backlog Indicator Fell in September

The Associated Builders and Contractors' Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for September 2019 saw a setback. The indicator fell by one-tenth of a month or by 0.8% since August 2019. The CBI now sits at 8.9 months. ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said the trends in the most recent CBI will "remain in place." The spending in the public constructi...
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‘New Month, Same Story’ on October Construction Material Prices

Construction input prices reached a plateau in October, showing a continued trend of little fluctuation over the past few months. The long-run data was less flattering, however, as prices decreased more than 2% year-over-year (YOY). With the main focus on nonresidential construction, input prices decreased monthly and annually by 0.1% and 2%, respe...
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Global Growth to Slow in 2020–21

Global growth is expected to remain at a slow pace during the next two years. However, Moody's Investors Services predicts the global economy will not see a recession during that time (2020–21). Yet, the economy would be "more vulnerable to negative developments" during this time of lower growth and inflation, states Moody's Global Macro Outlook re...
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AI Breaking Through to Construction Industry

Although news outlets have cited the construction industry's slow adoption of technology, recent reports show contractors are opening up to the idea, specifically the use of artificial intelligence (AI). According to Construction Dive, two AI companies have received funding for their platforms, both of which were designed to improve project efficie...
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Dodge Momentum Index Shows Promise

U.S. construction spending is predicted to be on the rise, according to one leading indicator. The Dodge Momentum Index from Dodge Data & Analytics showed the October reading up nearly 7% from the revised September index. The index measures the initial report of nonresidential building projects, which has led to show construction spending by a ...
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Public Construction 'One of the Strongest Elements of the US Economy,' ABC Says

Despite a dip in year-over-year (YOY) September nonresidential construction spending, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) economists said public construction remains strong, particularly in water supply, sewage and waste disposal. Contractors might have expressed concerns over the nearly 1% decline in YOY spending; however, nonresidential spe...
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Sales in US-Made Manufacturing Fall

U.S.-made goods dipped in sales during the month of September, according to a recent article by Reuters. General manufacturing spending also saw a decrease in September. Factory goods orders fell by 0.6% and orders fell 0.3% year-over-year, according to the Commerce Department. Shipments of manufactured goods fell by 0.2% as well. According to Reut...
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October Credit Managers’ Index Rebounds

The Credit Managers' Index (CMI) from NACM rebounded in October as credit managers reported better conditions in several factors across the board. However, the overall, combined improvement is not without its caveats. The combined CMI score improved half a point to 54.6. "Like much of the recent economic data, there are signs of concern showing up ...
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Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates for Third Time in 2019

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates Oct. 30, according to Reuters. This decision marks the third cut of 2019 as the cut is meant to offset the fallout from the global trade war. The policy rate will drop by a quarter of a percentage point, reaching a target range of 1.5% and 1.75%. Moving forward, the Fed said it will "monitor the implicati...
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Contractors Confident Thanks to Profit Margins, Staffing Levels

Expectations for profit margins and staffing kept contractors confident in August when results exceeded July predictions. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Construction Confidence Index (CCI) shows an increase in both factors, while sales expectations declined. More than half of the surveyed contractors anticipate an incre...
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New Home Sales Slip Slightly

New home sales were down slightly in September from the revised August rate. According to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, new single-family home sales declined 0.7% in September, yet the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 701,000 is 15.5% higher than a year ago. The modest setback still did not stop it from being ...
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Owners, Contractors Need Data Connection

As one of the industries slowly adopting technology, the construction sector is learning what does and does not work, the former being project management solutions. For contractors, many factors must be considered when selecting this software, specifically, coordination between contractors and project owners. In September, Dodge Data & Analytic...
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Brexit Vote Delayed—Yes, Again

A Brexit decision has been delayed yet again, further stalling the inevitable futures of the global supply chain. In a Saturday vote, the U.K. parliament voted 322-306 to delay Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, according to Supply Chain Dive. Parliament has now asked the EU for an extension until Jan. 31, 2020, but no decision has yet bee...
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Housing Starts Tumble in September

U.S. housing starts are heading down a treacherous road as are housing completions and building permits. The latest data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development shows housing starts in September were down 9.4%. However, the seasonally adjusted annual rate is 1.6% above the September 2018 rate. Homebuilding was at a mo...
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September Construction Input Prices Fall

Contractors wrapped up September with reports of falling construction input prices. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), input prices dropped more than half of a percent last month, decreasing nearly three times as much year-over-year (YOY). ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in the report "a weakening global economy, sturdy U...
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October Tariffs on Chinese Goods Cancelled

Trade talks between China and the U.S. continued, leading to the U.S. calling off the Oct. 15 tariff increases, according to the Associated Press. The tariffs would have increased from 25% to 30% on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. The cancellation came with compromise and negotiation. In exchange for the tariff cancellation, China has a...
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Dodge Momentum Index Takes Step Forward

The Dodge Momentum Index took a step forward in September mostly due to the commercial aspect. The Index, published by Dodge Data & Analytics, measures the initial report of nonresidential building during the planning stage, which can lead to spending by a full year. The commercial component improved nearly 9% in September to push the overall i...
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US China Trade Negotiations Continue, US Tariffs Called Into Question

The U.S. and China continue to negotiate amid the trade wars. According to a recent article in Bloomberg, China remains open to reaching a compromise and partial trade deal with the U.S. The main cause for concern stems from weakening any potential damage a trade war will cause on the health of the global economy. Negotiators will meet in Washingto...
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Construction Sees ‘Another Perfect Employment Data Release’

As unemployment continues to decline, the construction sector is among the industries to see job growth in September in what Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu described as "another perfect employment data release." According to an ABC report on Oct. 4, net new construction jobs increased by 7,000 last month with...
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US Construction Spending Increases Slightly

U.S. construction spending is on the rise; however, it is public construction spending leading the way. According to the Census Bureau, total spending increased 0.1% in August, but the data is 1.9% behind the figure from August 2018. The latest announcement from earlier this week states construction spending during the first eight months of 2019 is...
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