ACH Network Starts 2019 with Bang

The ACH Network is off to a strong start in 2019. The number of payments on the platform increased 5.8% in the first quarter compared to the previous year, states Nacha. The daily volume of payments also increased 7.5%. "The first quarter results show that the ACH Network is poised for another year of sustained growth," said Nacha Chief Operating O...
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‘Little Reason’ to Worry Over Construction Input Price Increases

To the dismay of contractors, construction input prices saw nearly a 1% increase in April over the prior month, with a substantial increase in pricing year over year (YOY) at 2.4%. On May 9, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported price hikes in four of 11 subcategories in April, while seven declined. According to ABC's analysis of the U...
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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 tariff...
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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 addi...
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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 unt...
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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...
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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 to...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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