New Five-Year Low Reached in Goods Trade Deficit Between US and China

U.S. goods trade deficit with China hit a five-year low during the month of March, according to a recent article by Reuters. With trade tensions between the two countries and the 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, President Trump's actions and push for the "America First" narrative have caused harm to the global economy.With tariffs...
Continue reading
  1093 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1093 Hits
0 Comments

Residential, Nonresidential Construction Jobs Show Signs of Improvement

The construction industry saw a modest gain in new jobs in April with a 3.5% increase in the past year. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33,000 new net jobs were added between March and April 2019.Since April 2018, open positions in residential building grew by nearly 5% to 39,000 addit...
Continue reading
  1551 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1551 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 6, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyTrump Throws Wrench into China Trade Talks For the last few weeks, it has appeared there was real progress being made in terms of U.S.-China trade talks. Even those who have been negotiating for the U.S. have been sounding optimistic. It seemed there were still some tough last-minute details to be worked out, but...
Continue reading
  847 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
847 Hits
0 Comments

West Virginia Implementing Vendor Payment Stoppage

West Virginia is in the process of implementing a two-part payment stoppage for vendors who don't pay state taxes. The Office of the State Auditor made the announcement earlier this month that the state will stop payments to vendors who owe the state money."The number of vendors to be included in the intercept routine will gradually get larger unti...
Continue reading
  1586 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1586 Hits
0 Comments

Construction Spending Dips in March

Construction spending is on the decline after a slight dip in March. According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, total construction spending is at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.28 trillion, nearly 1% below February's revised estimate. March is also nearly a percent behind the pace from March 2018. Spending for the first three mon...
Continue reading
  1696 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1696 Hits
0 Comments

US and China on Road to Agreements in Beijing Trade Talks

China and the U.S. continued trade talks May 1, and the discussions and negotiations will continue into the next week, according to a recent article by Reuters. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the talks "productive" as the two countries remain in a trade war.Both China and the U.S. noted progress had been made on a few contentious top...
Continue reading
  1154 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1154 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for May 1, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyConsumers Upbeat AgainThose 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 h...
Continue reading
  870 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
870 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
  2604 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
2604 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 26, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyUnexpected and Welcomed NewsAs 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
  1043 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1043 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
  1997 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1997 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 ave...
Continue reading
  1949 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1949 Hits
0 Comments

Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for April 24, 2019

Short Items of Interest—U.S. EconomyNot All Housing Data is BleakEarlier 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 decli...
Continue reading
  881 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
881 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
  5604 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
5604 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
  7096 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
7096 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
  7543 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
7543 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
  1877 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1877 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 e...
Continue reading
  1097 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1097 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
  1201 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1201 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
  1325 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1325 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 th...
Continue reading
  1052 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1052 Hits
0 Comments