Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for January 24, 2020

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyImproving Business ConditionsAs 2019 came to an end, there was some difference of opinion as far as what to expect in the coming year. There have been some headwinds and concerns, but it was not clear whether these would really inhibit growth plans. It now appears that most of these concerns seem manageable and m...
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Existing-Home Sales Skyrocket in December

Existing-home sales improved to a near two-year high in December. Sales jumped 3.6% from November, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) earlier this week. Total sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops, increased 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.54 million. Sales are up nearly...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for January 20, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyAggressive TargetsNow that the U.S. and China have seemingly called a truce, all eyes have shifted to a more monitoring position—Can the Chinese really live up to their promises? Given the reaction of the business and economic community, it seems there are many skeptics. The ...
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Housing Starts Hit 13-Year High

Privately-owned housing starts exploded in December to a 13-year high. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau, housing starts increased 16.9% in December above November's revised estimate. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,608,000 is nearly 41% better than December 2018. "The big jump in the last month...
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Dodge Momentum Index Continues Rise

The Dodge Momentum Index continued to rise as 2019 came to a close. The construction-spending indicator released by Dodge Data & Analytics improved 1.5% in December to a reading of 156.2. December was the fourth-straight month of increases. For the full year, the Index was 3.7% below the 2018 average, but the institutional and commercial compon...
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Construction Spending Increases in November

Construction spending is on the rise as data for 2019 continues to flow in the new year. According to the Census Bureau, spending reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.324 trillion in November 2019, up 0.6% from the previous month. This is also more than 4% higher than November 2018, and it's the best November showing on record, dating ba...
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New Home Sales Increase After Downward Revision

New single-family home sales are on the rise after the previous month's rate was revised downward. The Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced earlier this week new home sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 719,000, up 1.3% from October. Year-to-year, sales were up 16.9% from November 2018's estima...
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Existing-Home Sales Fall Flat in November

Existing-home sales fell flat in November despite the anticipated decline. Economists predicted sales would slip 0.2% in November, according to Reuters, but they actually dropped eight times more than expected. Existing-home sales took a 1.7% step back, states the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, sales are still up 2.7% from a year ...
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Holiday Spending Still with Much to Prove

With the holiday season upon us, spending is ramping up; however, retail spending did not hit predicted marks. According to the Census Bureau, retail and food services sales increased 0.2% in November and are 3.3% ahead of November 2018. Economists expected retail sales to increase by 0.5% in November, according to Reuters. Despite this, NACM Econo...
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Dodge Momentum Index Increases in November

Construction spending could be in the forecast as the calendar turns to 2020. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, the Dodge Momentum Index increased nearly 3% in November, almost setting a new cycle high. The index reached 155.3 following October's 150.9 reading. The index measures initial reporting of nonresidential construction, which has le...
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Existing-Home Sales Increase in October

Existing-home sales are on the rise in much of the U.S., according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops inched upward 1.9% in October, states NAR. Sales are also up 4.6% from October 2018. Economists predicted sales would rise 1.4% in October,...
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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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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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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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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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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 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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Credit Managers' Index Disappoints in September

NACM's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) faltered a bit in September after a robust showing the previous month. "That gain was short-lived as this month there was a bit of a decline. The data is still pretty firmly in the expansion zone, but not as robustly as was the case earlier," said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. The combined CMI slipped from 55...
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