August Housing Starts Decline Further Than Expected

Housing starts across the U.S. are down further than expected, yet there is a silver lining in the recently released data. Housing starts in August fell to 1.416 million, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is down 5.1% from July but up 2.8% from August 2019. Economists polled by Reuters expected sta...
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Dodge Momentum Index Improves for Second Straight Month

A construction spending indicator reports a potential increase in outlays as the U.S. economy continues to recover from earlier shutdowns. The Dodge Momentum Index, which measures the initial report of nonresidential building projects in planning, increased 1.8% in August, according to Dodge Data & Analytics."The August increase in the overall ...
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Construction Spending Increases Slower Than Expected

Total construction spending remained relatively unchanged for the month of July; however, the slight increase was less than expected. Spending inched forward 0.1% in July, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,364.6 billion is also 0.1% below July 2019.Economists predicted spending would increase 1% in July,...
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Pending Home Sales Continue Growth in July

Pending home sales in the U.S. are up three straight months after another strong showing in July. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index increased 5.9%. This is also up 15.5% from July 2019. Economists predicted sales would increase 3% in July, states Reuters. "We are witnessing a true V-shaped sal...
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Existing-Home Sales Increase in July

Existing-home sales continue to gain momentum as the U.S. economy builds from the trough seen earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales increased 24.7% in July, according to the National Association of Realtors, and for the second straight month. Sales were up nearly 9% from July 2019."The housing market is well past the recovery phase ...
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Moderate Small Business Delinquencies Increase

The U.S. economy is still in the middle of a recovery after a spring drag down caused by government shut downs and other measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. "Defaults are expected to rise in coming quarters as forbearance programs expire and as customers are likely to change their priorities in the wake of COVID-19," according to the second qu...
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Dodge Momentum Index Sees First 2020 Increase

The Dodge Momentum Index recorded its first increase in 2020. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, the index increased 3.4% in July, but it has declined 18% since December. The commercial building component increased 5.3%, while the institutional building component saw no change. The index measures the initial report of nonresidential projects,...
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Pending Home Sales Jump in June

Pending home sales continued to surprise in June, posting back-to-back months of improvement. According to the Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales in June increased 16.6%. Pending sales are also up more than 6% from June 2019. "It is quite surprising and remarkable that, in the midst of a global pandemic,...
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New Home Sales Jump in June

New home sales are at a new high this year after outperforming expectations in June. The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday that new single-family sales increased 13.8% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 776,000 in June. This is also 6.9% above the June 2019 data, making it the best mon...
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Housing Starts Jump in June

U.S. housing starts have skyrocketed at their strongest monthly increase in nearly four years. Privately owned housing starts in June jumped 17.3% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.186 million, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Reuters states the percentage increase was the largest since October 2016, ...
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Dodge Momentum Index Continues Downward Trend in June

Potential construction spending took a decent-sized hit in June. The Dodge Momentum Index, which measures construction projects in planning that leads to future nonresidential construction spending, from Dodge Data & Analytics declined 6.6% in June. "The Momentum Index has shifted noticeably lower as the fallout from recession continues to hold...
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Construction Confidence in New Business, Revenue Rattled in Second Quarter

Many construction jobs are still deemed essential during this time of economic uncertainty; however, that doesn't mean the industry is thriving. According to the latest results from the USG and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI), contractors' confidence in both new business and revenue expectations saw a significant declin...
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Surprise Decline in May Construction Spending

There was a surprise in the May construction spending numbers after the industry was one of the first to reopen and rebound from the pandemic. Wells Fargo Securities reported spending has declined nearly 6% since it peaked in February. Announced earlier this week, construction spending dropped 2.1% in May to a seasonally adjusted rate of $1,356.4 b...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for June 29, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM EconomistShort Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyBetter News, but Not GreatThere will be some new data releases this week, and they will definitely provide some better news than has been the case lately. At the same time, they will reveal how far the economy has declined and how tough it will be to get back on track. The Pur...
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New Home Sales Exceed Projections in May

New single-family home sales in the U.S. are on the rise. According to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales increased 16.6% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000. This is better than expected as MarketWatch reported analysts predicted a rate of 650,000, and Reuters' economists forecasted sales wo...
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Housing Starts See Modest Rebound in May

U.S. housing starts have started to rebound; however, they are still well below the data from a year ago. Housing starts increased 4.3% in May, according to this week's announcement from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Yet, this is 23.2% below May 2019. Housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 974,000 ...
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Import Prices Rebound After Historic Fall

A month after their worst fall in more than five years, import prices have rebounded to their best month in over a year. U.S. imports increased 1% in May, according to a release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Much of the increase is due to the large jump in fuel import prices, which shot up 20.5% in May. That was the largest increase since th...
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April Construction Spending Slips; Better than Expected

Construction spending is still being impacted by COVID-19; however, outlays fell slightly lower than expected in April. Despite the better-than-expected fall, April's 2.9% drop was the worst since October 2018, according to Reuters. However, spending in April was 3% higher than April 2019, according to a release from the Census Bureau. Construction...
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Pending Home Sales Plummet in April

Pending home sales is the latest sector to see record drops from the impacts of COVID-19. The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) declined 21.8% in April. All regions saw a month-to-month and year-over-year decline in pending home sales. "With nearly all states under stay-at-home orders in April, it is no surpri...
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Existing Home Sales Continue Decline in April

COVID-19 continues to impact existing home sales, resulting in the second-straight month of declines. The National Association of Realtors announced May 21 that sales dropped 17.8% in April from March, and sales are down roughly the same amount from April 2019. The steep fall is the largest month-over-month decline since July 2010. "The economic lo...
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