Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 1, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Consumers Upbeat Again Those fickle consumers are at it again. As the year started, there was a sense that consumers were starting to lose their enthusiasm and the various consumer confidence polls reinforced that assumption. All of the major ones were down, although not in the doldrums as compared to where they...
Continue reading
  114 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
114 Hits
0 Comments

Construction Fraud Leads to Guilty Plea in California

Construction fraud strikes again, this time in California, where two siblings admitted to fraud and embezzlement against the California State Compensation Insurance Fund between January 2012 and March 2017, with a loss of more than $500,000. According to Construction Dive, the owner and office manager—brother and sister, respectively—at Ultimate, I...
Continue reading
  478 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
478 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 26, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Unexpected and Welcomed News As discussed later in this issue, there had been a sense that economic growth was falling off at the end of last year and at the start of this one. The part that was not as clear was what has been happening lately. By most accounts, the beginning of the second quarter was strong...
Continue reading
  169 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
169 Hits
0 Comments

Existing-Home Sales Decline in March

Existing-home sales are on the decline across the U.S. According to the latest release from the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales dropped 4.9% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million. Sales are also down more than 5% from March 2018. "It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in ...
Continue reading
  409 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
409 Hits
0 Comments

Low Prices Attributed to Increase New Home Sales in March

While housing starts declined for the second month in a row in March, new single-family home sales reached its highest recording in nearly two years. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), new home sales climbed to an annual rate of 692,000 homes, which NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said was related to affordable pricing. The av...
Continue reading
  662 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
662 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 24, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Not All Housing Data is Bleak Earlier in the week, the data on existing home sales was not all that encouraging and it was asserted that all those housing headwinds were taking their toll. Now comes the data on new home sales and it tells a far different story, with a gain of 4.5% as compared to the expected dec...
Continue reading
  163 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
163 Hits
0 Comments

US Legislation Introduced to Shorten Payment Times Between Government and SMBs

Around the globe, countries are taking notice of late payments impact on business. In 2018, the U.K. introduced legislation to ensure small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) get paid on time. In early 2019, Australia introduced legislation to address late supplier payments. Now, the U.S. is joining the ranks with legislation to shorten the payment...
Continue reading
  1738 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1738 Hits
0 Comments

Housing Starts Fall Again in March

Housing starts saw a slight fall during the month of March, falling for the second month in a row, according to Wells Fargo. Of the past seven months, six saw declines. Wells Fargo attributes some of this fall to poor weather conditions during the end of 2018, while lower mortgage rates have only seen "limited success" at breathing life back into t...
Continue reading
  1729 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1729 Hits
0 Comments

UK Tax Authority ‘Too Aggressive’ on Small Businesses, Lender Platform Says

Tax authorities in the United Kingdom are cracking down on small businesses for late tax payments, sparking concerns from lenders who deem the repercussions "too aggressive." On April 15, alternative finance news publication Altfi reported HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) applied to close nearly 4,200 business in 2018 for late tax payments. This high ...
Continue reading
  2207 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2207 Hits
0 Comments

Builder Confidence Increases in April

Builder confidence for new single-family homes is at its highest level since October after a slight uptick in the April National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This month's HMI rose one point to 63 after back-to-back months of 62 in February and March. "Builders report solid demand for new single-family homes b...
Continue reading
  331 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
331 Hits
0 Comments

Brexit Deadline Extended to Oct. 31

The U.K. voted to leave the EU in 2016, and in the span of nearly three years, the U.K. has not devised a plan for exit. The deadline for exiting has been extended again, this time until Oct. 31, 2019. Should Prime Minister Theresa May and parliament agree on a plan before that deadline, the exit could take place even sooner. With EU parliamentary ...
Continue reading
  297 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
297 Hits
0 Comments

OSHA Jobsite Inspections to Increase

Jobsite inspections on a construction project have many purposes. For credit managers, having intel on jobsite conditions can determine whether a project is on schedule, therefore, giving lenders a better idea of when to expect payment. According to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, construction projects may soon have more eyes on jobsites ...
Continue reading
  269 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
269 Hits
0 Comments

Construction Employment Shows Promise in March

March proved there's always a job in construction as employment increased month-over-month (MoM) and year-over-year (YOY), according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Based on ABC's review of Bureau of Labor Statistics' data, 16,000 net new jobs opened up in construction last month, particularly for residential and nonresidential specia...
Continue reading
  388 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
388 Hits
0 Comments

Wait Times at US-Mexico Border for Business Trade Continue to Increase

Trade ports on the U.S.-Mexico border continue to face slowdown with border delays and congestion, according to a recent article by Supply Chain Dive. Around one-fifth of trucks that typically travel to the border are able to cross it, leading to major interruptions in the local and national markets. President Donald Trump had threatened to close t...
Continue reading
  342 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
342 Hits
0 Comments

Cyberthreats Target HR Department to Breach Small Business’ Security

Although cybersecurity technology has made some significant strides over the past few years, cyberattacks continue to threaten the livelihood of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). According to Beazley Breach Response (BBR) security company, cyberattacks are evolving—along with preventative security measures—some of which "trick employees int...
Continue reading
  1377 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1377 Hits
0 Comments

Nonresidential Construction Spending Sees Some Expansion in February

Nonresidential spending in construction increased from January to February, this time rising by just over 1%, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau. In total, nonresidential spending amounted to $773.8 billion, a 4.8% increase over this same time from last year. Despite some of these numbers going ...
Continue reading
  895 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
895 Hits
0 Comments

UK Party Looks to Post Offices to Increase SMB Financial Services

As the number of community banks continues to drop in the United Kingdom, the Labour Party is searching for a solution in the form of post offices. In a recent report from BBC, the political party is suggesting the country transform as many as 3,600 post offices into banks in an effort to increase financial services for small businesses. According ...
Continue reading
  989 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
989 Hits
0 Comments

US Construction Spending Nears Record Rate

U.S. construction spending is nearing its highest rate on record, according to the latest release from the Census Bureau. Construction spending increased 1% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.32 trillion, one of the highest rates on record (since 2002). Spending is also 1.1% above February 2018. In 2019 alone, construction spend...
Continue reading
  1159 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1159 Hits
0 Comments

Kentucky Joins 24 Other States in Banning Government-mandated PLAs

​Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin recently signed off on a House bill that will prohibit state and local government agencies from "forcing bidders to sign on to project labor agreements (PLAs) for public work projects," according to an article by  ​Construction Dive.  ​This now makes Kentucky the 25th state in the U.S. to enact a law that wil...
Continue reading
  672 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
672 Hits
0 Comments

NACM’s March CMI Shows ‘Unnerving’ Results

When NACM's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) drops, so does the confidence of many credit managers. This was the case in March when the service sector stunted the growth in the overall score, hinting at further unpredictability in coming months. The CMI was unable to hold onto February's growth, but instead, reeled back to a score previously seen earli...
Continue reading
  980 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
980 Hits
0 Comments