New Home Sales Plummet in March

New single-family home sales have finally felt the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Sales plummeted 15.4% in March from the revised February rate, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales are also 9.5% below March 2019. "Despite the sharp decline in new home sales this month, the first quarter of 2020...
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Existing-Home Sales Decline Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus has made its mark on the world economy; now it has hit U.S. existing-home sales. Sales declined 8.5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, year-over-year sales are up 0.8% since March 2019. This is the ninth straight month of YOY sales increas...
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SMBs Wait for What's Next After PPP Funds Run Out

Two weeks after its launch, the Payment Protection Program's (PPP) $349 billion in small business loans has run out, leaving hundreds of thousands of small businesses that didn't receive funding scrambling for assistance. Additional bailout money is under discussion in Congress, yet president and CEO of Atlanta's Federal Reserve Bank Raphael Bostic...
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March Housing Starts Impacted by Coronavirus

U.S. housing starts have been greatly impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Privately owned housing starts fell more than 22% in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.216 million, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. The staggering drop was the largest monthly step-back since March 1984, states R...
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Department Stores at Risk to Default Amid Pandemic

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many credit managers fear their customers may default or file for bankruptcy. According to a recent article in RetailDive, department stores are the most at-risk for defaulting on debt within a year. Department stores are the highest at-risk among consumer companies, with a 42.1% median probability of defaulting on debt....
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Construction Industry Turns to Layoffs, Furloughs Amidst COVID-19

April is often the time of year when construction begins ramping up, bringing in plenty of business after the winter months. However, COVID-19 is throwing a wrench into the situation as many construction companies are now laying off or furloughing their employees. According to a survey of nearly 1,300 respondents from Associated General Contractors...
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Construction Input Prices Slip in March

Construction input prices are on the decline, yet the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak has not been accounted for since the Producer Price Index (PPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics pricing date on March 10. Input prices dropped 1% in March, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). "Deflationary pressures are weighing...
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System to Aid Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19 Launches

A new system to help ailing small businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic launched April 8, according to an article in Reuters. The U.S. government has approved a $350 billion program to help move small businesses along during these uncertain times.Small businesses affected by the coronavirus are eligible to apply for government-guaranteed ...
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COVID-19 Ravages March Construction Employment

COVID-19 has ravaged employment nationwide and if further proof was necessary, the construction industry declined by 29,000 jobs in March. A recent report from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) revealed the dramatic drop, which included the loss of 24,600 nonresidential construction jobs.With a March unemployment rate of nearly 7%, the cons...
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Construction Spending Dips Ahead of Outbreak Impact

As the world waits to see how much of an impact the coronavirus will have on March data points, U.S. construction spending took a slight dip in February. Construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,366.7 billion, which is down 1.3% from January, states the Census Bureau. However, February's spending is 6% higher than Februa...
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Manufacturing Sector Begins to Slow Down

Manufacturing began to see a slowdown in March, but not on the scale originally anticipated, according to a recent article in Reuters. This is likely because the activity in manufacturing has not yet caught up to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic as shutdowns in the U.S. did not begin until the second or so week of March—but the readings are st...
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CARES Act Helps Construction Industry

Industries nationwide are struggling to navigate the coronavirus outbreak and how it will potentially impact future business. On March 27, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law in an effort to help citizens personally and professionally, including the construction industry.Under th...
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March CMI Plummets as Outbreak Continues

Not much good will come by looking at the raw numbers of the March Credit Managers' Index from NACM, yet it's not all bad. Despite a massive 7.2-point combined decline in March, mostly due to only a couple factors, there are several places to find some hidden gold. The coronavirus has hampered the global economy for weeks, but it is only now actual...
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Senate to Vote on COVID-19 Relief Bill, Allocating Money to Businesses

Senators will vote again March 25 on whether to pass the $2 trillion bipartisan package to help stimulate the U.S. economy. While the Senate will vote on this bill, the House of Representatives likely will not act on it until March 26, according to a recent article in Reuters. While the full package has not been announced to the public, most of the...
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New Home Sales Dip; Still Strong

New single-family home sales are on the decline; however, new data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development does not include the recent impacts of the coronavirus. The joint announcement states February's seasonally adjusted rate is 765,000, down 4.4% from January, but 14.3% ahead of February 2019. Economists predicted...
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Coronavirus Sparks Rise in Fraud

Where there's a will, there's a way, and fraudsters are taking that proverb to heart amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. According to cybersecurity firm Proofpoint Inc., phishing attacks have increased dramatically since January as criminals send emails posing as legitimate businesses.Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Proofpoint'...
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Existing-Home Sales Hit 13-Year High

Existing-home sales in the U.S. jumped to a 13-year high in February; however, the gains should be taken with a grain of salt as the data was collected before the coronavirus became so widespread. Sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condos and co-ops increased 6.5% from January, according to the National Association of Realtors. February was ...
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US Nears Recession in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic

The chance the U.S. will be in a recession this year has now reached 80%, according to analysts for Reuters. The impact of the coronavirus has nearly pushed the U.S. completely out of its longest expansion period on record. Businesses have shut down across the world and lockdowns have been issued in major cities worldwide, handicapping the economy....
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Insolvencies to Increase in 2020

Insolvencies across the globe will increase in 2020, mainly as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. According to credit insurer Atradius, corporate insolvencies in advanced economies are expected to increase 2.4% this year, up 1% from 2019. Business failures in the U.S. will level off at 2% in 2020, down from 2.5% the previous year. "The outbreak ...
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Construction Input Prices Down as ABC Predicts Global Recession

To the delight of construction professionals, input prices dropped more than half of a percent in February, specifically 0.6% for nonresidential construction. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu said although this news is generally welcomed with open arms, "there can be too much of a good thing," especially consid...
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