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 ag...
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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 Washington...
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Federal and Central Bank Currency May be on the Way

With the advent of FedNow, the U.S. Federal Reserve tossed around the idea of issuing a digital currency Oct. 2, according to a recent article in Reuters. Philadelphia Federal Reserve bank president Patrick Harker said during a community banking conference the implementation of a digital currency "is inevitable," but he does not want the U.S. to be...
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Moody's and Fitch Downgrade Hong Kong's Ratings

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and the political unrest in the region has begun to have an impact on the health of its economy. According to a recent article by Reuters, Moody's knocked down Hong Kong's rating from stable to negative. Moody's made this decision as it deemed the risk from the protests has caused "an erosion in the strength of H...
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Amazon and Wayfair May Raise Prices to Offset Chinese Tariffs

The repercussions of the Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods may begin to manifest at Amazon and Wayfair: these companies may no longer be able to absorb the tariff costs, according to research by Bank of America given to Supply Chain Dive. With the 15% tariff that went into place Sept. 8, Amazon may raise its prices by as much as 2.6% and Wayfair by as ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for September 9, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyGlobal Debt Is Rising Concern In the years since the financial crisis that led to the recession, there had been an assumption this miserable experience would convince those in the business and financial community to be more cautious about debt. It was also assumed this experie...
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Construction Confidence Dips in June, Optimism Moving Forward

Construction contractors lost confidence during the month of June, according to the June 2019 Construction Confidence Index released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This lack of confidence stems primarily from nonresidential construction.Despite the dip in sales, profits and staffing levels in June, the levels in the survey still rema...
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Ports Close Ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian

Hurricane season continues, with ports and businesses taking note of the weather patterns affecting projects and shipment deliveries. Tropical Storm Dorian remains a threat for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with all maritime ports in the area set for Port Condition Zulu as of Aug. 28, according to a recent article in Supply Chain Dive. G...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 23, 2019

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyChina RetaliatesAs expected, the Chinese have reacted to the U.S. tariff threats and imposed their own tariffs on another $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. The U.S. has indicated it will impose tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports into the U.S. The announced tariff ...
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Housing Starts Fall During July

U.S. housing starts fell during the month of July, making this the third consecutive month of falling starts, according to a recent article by Reuters. The biggest decline was seen in multi-family units. Despite these shortcomings, permits reached a seven-month high, offering some hope in the housing market.In total, housing starts dropped 4%, adju...
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US to Impose 10% Tariff on List Four Chinese Goods

The U.S. announced Aug. 1 it will impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods beginning Sept. 1. This leaves businesses with just under a month to prepare, although negotiations are set to continue. The tariffs will impact list four goods.President Trump said he will meet with negotiators again in early September, according to Supply Chain...
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West Coast Imports Decline in June, Tariffs a Suspect to Blame

West Coast imports declined in the month of June, which may be tied to recent trade wars and tariffs. Notably, the Port of Long Beach saw a 13% decline year-over-year (YOY) in June, along with the Port of Oakland and the Northwest Seaport Alliance which saw a 6% drop YOY in June, according to Supply Chain Dive. These numbers have been offset by a 3...
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Chinese Tariffs Discourage US Fashion Companies

A recent report by the U.S. Fashion Industry Association revealed the U.S.-China trade war has pushed U.S. companies to reduce how much they source from China. Up by more than 15% from 2018, 83% said they plan on reducing their sourcing from China. The companies also cited U.S. protectionism and rising production costs as some of the main strains o...
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US Proposes Tariffs on EU Imports, Mostly Food

The U.S. proposed tariffs on goods from the European Union, totaling $4 billion, according to a recent article by Supply Chain Dive. Many of the items on the list are food-related—cheese, olives, meats, pasta and whiskey—but some metals and chemicals made the list as well.Most of the controversy surrounding these tariffs stems from a dispute over a...
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Construction Spending Saw a Decline in May

Construction spending fell during the month of May, according to a recent report by Wells Fargo. Construction expenditures dropped by 0.8%, and residential spending is still much weaker compared to public spending.Residential spending fell 0.6%, and nonresidential spending fell by almost 1%⁠—the first time nonresidential has dipped in about a year....
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Existing Home Sales Increase During Month of May

During the month of May, U.S. existing home sales increased by 2.5% compared to last month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million units, according to a recent article by Reuters. Lower interest rates for mortgages helped give the data a boost this month.Reuters speculated the existing home sale rate would reach 5.25 million uni...
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Companies Begin to Move Manufacturing Out of China Amid Tariff Threats and Implementation

Amid the threats and implementation of Chinese tariffs, more companies consider moving operations out of China. According to Supply Chain Dive, companies like Apple and Nintendo have plans to move production to Southeast Asia from China. The fourth list of Chinese tariffs will likely be approved halfway through the month of June, impacting Apple an...
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May's CMI Continues to Trend Upward

May's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) saw an uptick for the second month in a row, reaching a combined score of 55.7. This is the first month since August and September of 2018 that the CMI saw two consecutive upticks. April's reading came in at 54, meaning the combined score went up more than a point.The combined sales category in favorables&nbs...
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Don't Miss Out on Credit Congress 2019

A grand gathering of credit and financial professionals comes just once a year, and this year's Credit Congress and Expo will take place from May 19-22 in Aurora, Colorado. Featured at the conference will be a slew of educational opportunities, exhibitors and unique events outside of credit, yet still exciting to each credit professional.Kicking of...
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