Builders Gain Hope After Housing Starts Rebound in January

Housing starts rebounded significantly in January by nearly 19%—welcome news to builders following the 12% decline at the end of 2018. According to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department, builders would begin more than 1.2 million housing units in the next year if they maintained this soaring percentage. Single-family housin...
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UK Firms Hit With Fraud

British business owners have more than just Brexit to worry about. According to research from Santander Business, half of business owners and senior managers are vulnerable to invoice fraud, states LondonlovesBusiness. "By not checking invoice details carefully before making an online payment, small businesses are leaving themselves dangerously exp...
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Residential Construction Spending Slips in 2018

Construction spending in December 2018 saw a nearly 1% dip compared to the previous month, according to a recent release from Wells Fargo. With this drop, spending in construction for all of 2018 saw its slowest growth since 2011, growing by just over 4%. The release said this slowdown comes from "sluggish new homebuilding activity," which impacted...
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New Single-Family Home Sales Hit Stride in December

New single-family home sales ended 2018 with an unforeseen upswing, showing a 1.5% gain year-over-year (YOY) after November's dwindling findings. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau released its December data on March 5 due to the government shutdown earlier this year. In a report, National Association of...
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Texas Bills Introduced Could Affect Lien Law

There are several new bills floating around in the Texas Legislature that, if signed into law, will affect lien law in the state. Senate Bill 845 was referred to the Committee on Business and Commerce Friday, March 1 after its first reading. Its corresponding legislation, House Bill 1918, was introduced in the middle of February. Both relate to the...
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US Farmers Struggle to Pay Off Debt

American farmers are stretching to make payments as debt levels have reached $409 billion in 2019—$24 billion higher than the prior year. According to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Reuters reported, "commodity prices, storms damaging crops and loss of key export markets" are behind the rising debt. Similar debt levels were last seen abou...
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Delaying Payments Becomes Riskier for Large Firms in India

​ Delayed payment penalties against large firms are tightening in India, where the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) announced the possibility of imprisonment if small suppliers are paid after 45 days. According to the Knowledge & News Network (KNN), the penalties correspond with legislation to ensure smaller suppliers get paid in a timely ma...
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Housing Starts Saw Stark Drop in December 2018

During the month of December in 2018, housing starts fell by nearly 12% compared to last month, according to The NAHB/Wells Fargo Homebuilders' Survey. Both single- and multi-family homes saw a drop during the year end. The plunge likely came from fears around the Federal Reserve continuing to hike short-term interest rates, which they said will co...
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Existing Home Sales Decline Again

Existing home sales are off to a slow start for 2019. Sales dropped for the third-straight month in January, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). January's decline of 1.2% put the seasonally adjusted annual rate at 4.94 million, the lowest since November 2015, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Existing home sales in Januar...
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Business Spending on Equipment Drops in December

Businesses spent significantly less on equipment in December 2018, fueling economists' beliefs that economic growth is in trouble. According to a Reuters report on Feb. 21, data from the Commerce Department shows a 0.7% decline in non-defense capital goods spending—as opposed to economists' predictions of a 0.2% gain—while the shipment of said good...
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Honda Joins Nissan, Dyson in Moving UK Operations

Honda announced Feb. 20 it will be moving its operations located in the U.K. to Japan at the end of its production cycle, which is due to close in 2021. Honda now joins Nissan and Dyson, who have also decided to move operations outside of the U.K. Honda did not immediately blame Brexit for its decision to move to Japan, but did say in a statement, ...
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Economists Urge Political Action to Address Housing Affordability

U.S. housing affordability maintained its decade-long low in the fourth quarter of 2018, prompting economists to question the lack of political efforts to redirect home pricing. On Feb. 14, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo released its joint Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) that found a slight uptick in new and existi...
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Amazon Will Not Open Second Headquarters in New York City

After protests and political opposition, Amazon decided to not open a second headquarters in New York City Feb. 14. The company said it does not have plans to begin a search for another headquarters location and will instead continue with plans to open headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee, according to Supply Chain D...
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Eurozone Industrial Production Takes a Hit in December

Industrial production fell hard in the eurozone in December, raising larger concerns about the 19 nations' effect on global economic growth. According to Reuters, industrial output declined almost 1% month-over-month (MoM), half a percent more than economists predicted. Dwindling production of capital goods was the driving force behind this decline...
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Dodge Index Rebounds in January

The Dodge Momentum Index rebounded slightly in January to a reading of 157.7 after a step back in December. The index released by Dodge Data & Analytics measures the initial report of nonresidential building in planning and has been an indicator of nonresidential spending within a full year. January's index increased 4.7% following December's d...
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BB&T, SunTrust Merger to Ignite Technology Investment

Banking executives are expecting new clientele and technology investment to flourish in the industry over the coming year after BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc. announced plans on Feb. 7 for a $28 billion merger. Bloomberg reports the merger will create "the sixth-biggest commercial bank in the U.S. by assets." In a joint statement, the banks...
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UK Simplifies Customs Procedures in the Case of 'No-Deal' Brexit

The U.K. planned a way to simplify its customs process, should there be a "no-deal" Brexit. The policy, titled Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP), allows full declarations to be made after the imports have already crossed the border. The TSP will also allow companies to pay the duty fees a month after importing the goods. The government recen...
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Economists Hopeful for Retail Growth After Recovery From Government Shutdown

As economists look further into economic growth in 2019, many are anticipating a positive outcome for the retail sector, where U.S. sales are expected to rise significantly. On Feb. 5, Reuters reported the latest predictions from the National Retail Federation (NRF), finding the mixture of increased consumer confidence, growing wages and low employ...
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Construction Spending Sees Increase in November 2018

Construction spending rose by a total of 0.8% during November 2018, an unusually positive reading for the winter months in construction, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Residential construction outlays accounted for the most of November's gain and nonresidential spending declined. Overall, spending is up 4.5% year-to-date. Residential spending...
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US Job Growth Unaffected by Government Shutdown

Job growth in the United States saw its best of 11 months in January, according to the Department of Labor, despite the 35-day partial government shutdown that furloughed approximately 800,000 workers. On Feb.1, Reuters reported the Labor Department's findings that there was no "discernible" impact on job growth last month. Hiring spiked in January...
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