Amendment to Pennsylvania Construction Act to Take Effect in October

Only a few weeks remain until Pennsylvania's Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (CASPA) changes, shaking up the future of timeliness for construction payments. The new act will affect construction contracts entered into, on or after Oct. 10, 2018. In Pennsylvania, CASPA affects downstream payments on private construction projects. The amendme...
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Food, Chemical Products Amid Latest Chinese Retaliatory Tariffs on US

Tackling trade talks remains difficult for the U.S. and China as more of President Donald Trump's tariffs go into effect today, placing a 10% tax on $200 billion of Chinese products such as furniture and appliances. According to CNBC, the tariff is expected to increase to 25% by the end of the year. This latest imposition was met with retaliation b...
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Consumer Demand, Not Trade War, Among CFOs Top Concerns

Risk assessment is part of the daily grind for any business, so when the U.S. stirred up trade controversies with other countries, economists saw American businesses' concerns rise. While many believed the trade war was among these worries, a new CNBC survey suggests there are worse fears in the business community, specifically consumer demand. On ...
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Little Economic Impact Expected From Hurricane Florence

Natural disasters take a physical toll on impacted communities, the most recent example being the severe flooding from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. With destruction and devastation comes economic hardship, but according to Moody's Analytics, Hurricane Florence is expected to have a minimal impact on the U.S. economy. The latest hurricane h...
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Lumber Prices Rise as Hurricane Florence Nears East Coast

As the East Coast prepares for Hurricane Florence to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday, the construction industry is already seeing the storm's costly effects through lumber prices. According to Prosales magazine, the impending hurricane and any that follow are expected to bring a 10% lumber price hike that may last roughly two months. On...
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New Funding Option for UK SMEs

A new funding option is in the future for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United Kingdom. New laws put forward by Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst this week will "make it easier for small businesses to access invoice financing," according to a release from the government. This will in turn provide a one-billion-pound boost t...
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Job Growth Dwindles Across Businesses of All Sizes

No matter the size of the business, job growth spiraled in August across the U.S., where hiring plummeted by roughly 54,000 jobs compared to the prior month. According to a Sept. 10 report by payroll service provider ADP, only 163,000 jobs were added in August, falling well below the 206,000 monthly average and the 217,000 added in July. Despite de...
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Residential Construction Jobs See Increase for August

Employment in the residential construction industry remains stable, sitting at 3.9% this August, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Jobs increased by 201,000, and employment in residential construction continued to trend upward. The number of unemployed persons decreased by a total of 46,000, yet the number of employed p...
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E-Invoicing Ushers Businesses Toward More Tech Implementation

Knowing when and where to start implementing new technology is tricky for any business. Costs and complications alone often steer businesses away from the latest advancements, but some experts believe electronic invoicing adoption is one of the best stepping stones for a gradual transition into 21st century technology. According to professional ser...
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End of Summer Brings CMI Out of Decline

NACM's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) turned a corner as the summer comes to a close, showing positive readings for the first time in two months. These higher readings show signs of stability for the near future, though the stability may not last with the threat of inflation and on-going trade wars. The combined CMI score for August went up by 0.3 po...
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Be Extra Cautious When Lending to Micro-SMBs

When credit managers are extending lines of credit, the size of their customers' business is a factor to weigh in the decision-making process. Just because a business is small doesn't mean it will never get credit, but both parties have to remain more alert. On Aug. 27, global fintech company Tide explained how micro-SMBs (small- to medium-sized bu...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 24, 2018

Short Items of Interest—U.S. Economy Lining Up Behind the Chair For the most part, the Fed is a body that rules by consensus. The members of the Open Market Committee are the permanent members of the Board of Governors plus four of the regional heads of the Fed that rotate on and off the FOMC on an annual basis. The Chair represents the views of th...
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China and US Enter Second Day of Trade Talks

China and the U.S. have entered the second day of trade talks with hopes to smooth over an uncertainty left behind the potential tariffs on imported goods. As of Aug. 23, both economies have proposed tariffs on imported goods worth about $16 billion. This will make the total value of Chinese goods affected by the Trump administration $100 billion, ...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for August 23, 2018

Short Items of Interest—US Economy Near Universal Call for Higher Rates So much for the reaction to Trump's displeasure with the Federal Reserve. In the last few weeks he has become vocal about his opposition to the Fed's stated intent to hike rates. He would not be the first president to object to the Fed playing its traditional role of party poop...
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Simulation Tech Enhances Decision-Making Process for Infrastructure Projects

In some way, shape or form, artificial intelligence (AI) is making a name for itself in the business community. The construction industry is no exception as recently seen in the United Kingdom, where a $4.5 million investment will fund a software company's latest technological endeavor to create real-world simulations of infrastructure projects. St...
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‘Good Hires’ Are Hard to Find in Canadian IT Departments

A company is only as good as its employees, and if they don't have the proper skills to do their job, business becomes much more complicated. According to new research, a vast majority of Canadian corporate hiring managers in the technology sector said they are having trouble making "the right hire," specifically finding employees who have the skil...
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Late Payments Bring Summertime Blues to UK

Just as accountants experience a busy time of year during tax season, small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) credit managers in the United Kingdom are finding their summers cut short to spend more time hunting down late payments. In fact, 60% of U.K. SMBs are exchanging summer holidays for more workdays dedicated to the task, according to Online P...
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Small Business Optimism Reaches New High During July

Small businesses can breathe a sigh of relief moving forward as this past month saw a rise in expansion and higher nominal sales, according to the National Federation of Independent Business' (NFIB) July Small Business Optimism Index. The index reached a near-record high of 107.9, just one-tenth of a point shy of the highest record ever recorded, w...
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Nonresidential Spending Predicted to Grow in 2019

Nonresidential construction spending is expected to take a step back in 2019 compared to 2018; however, overall nonresidential building is still predicted to grow. At the start of the year, economists from different firms polled by The American Institute of Architects (AIA), said views have changed for the better, according to the recently released...
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Shipment Delays Possible After Apple Supplier Suffers Computer Virus Outbreak

Technology is a blessing and a curse, and at the moment, it is more of the latter for Apple. On Aug. 3, one of Apple's suppliers suffered a computer virus outbreak, which CNBC reports may lead to shipment delays on behalf of the supplier. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) manufactures the chip processors used in Apple iPhones. According...
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