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Archive for December, 2015

U.S. Put-in-place Construction Growth to be near 9% in 2016 and 2017 (Part 2 Comprised mainly of a Table and Graphs)

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

CMD is projecting that by 2017, total annual U.S. put-in-place (PIP) construction spending will rise to $1.25 trillion. That’s versus an estimated $1.06 trillion in 2015 and a forecast $1.15 trillion in 2016.

PIP numbers, both current and historical, are provided by the Census Bureau. (For an explanation of the differences between CMD’s starts statistics and PIP figures, please see Part 1 of this Economy at a Glance.)

The total will reach that $1.25 trillion level through current (i.e., not adjusted for inflation) dollar gains of +8.6% in 2016 and +8.8% in 2017, on the heels of a +10.0% year in 2015.

Residential work, which suffered a more severe pull-back in activity than the non-residential building category, during the Great Recession, will mount a slightly faster comeback (+10.5% in each of 2016 and 2017, after +11.5% in 2015).
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U.S. Put-in-place Construction Growth to be near 9% in 2016 and 2017 (Parts 1)

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

The focus for CMD’s construction statistics, both in the U.S. and Canada, is on actual and forecast levels of starts.

There is another data set supplied by government agencies – i.e., the Census Bureau and Statistics Canada − known as the put-in-place (PIP) investment spending series.

For ‘starts’, the total value of a project is entered in the month when, according to a best estimate, ground is broken. The starts are often referred to as ‘lumpy’, since the largest projects play outsized roles.

Starts totals are built-up from the summation of all individual projects that are in the data base.

Conceptually, the PIP data set differs in that it simulates progress payments as projects proceed.

For example, while PIP numbers are actually based on owners’ and others’ estimates of capital  spending across a total universe of construction activity, a $60 billion office building beginning in July of this year will be theoretically captured (approximately) as $20 billion appearing in 2015; $30 billion in 2016; and the final $10 billion in 2017.
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A Momentous Fed Rate Hike as Afterthought

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

The Federal Reserve has been waffling about raising interest rates for so long, it seems like an afterthought now that the step has finally been taken.

On December 16, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) moved up the federal funds rate from a range of 0.00%-0.25% to 0.25%-0.50%.

It’s a disservice not to acknowledge the momentous nature of this event.

Nearly a decade has passed since the last rate hike. Over the past seven years, the yield has been flat and barely above zero.

The current shift upward has little to do with the fed’s twin mandates of job creation and achieving an inflation target of 2.0%.
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State and Province Rankings by Year-to-date Engineering/Civil Starts

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

In the previous Economy at a Glance, there was an examination of states and provinces according to their January-to-November 2015 dollar volumes and year-to-date percentage changes of non-residential building construction starts.

The data source is CMD’s web-accessible ‘Insight’ research material.

This time, we’ll look at starts that are heavy engineering/civil in nature. Again, Canadian provinces will be mixed in with U.S. states.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been condensed into an ‘Atlantic Canada’ designation.

In the engineering construction category, however, those easternmost provinces should not be lightly dismissed.
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States and Provinces Ranked by Year-to-date Non-residential Building Starts

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

The table accompanying this Economy at a Glance tries something new. It not only ranks U.S. states by year-to-date dollar volumes of non-residential building construction starts, and by year-over-year percentage changes, but adds Canadian provinces to the mix as well.

While the overall population of the United States is much larger than for Canada, 322 million compared with 36 million, the geographic size of most Canadian provinces is larger than for all but a few American states.

Furthermore, the Canadian construction scene is more dominated by mega-sized natural-resource projects − in oil and natural gas, metals and minerals and power generation – although this effect becomes more pronounced in heavy engineering/civil construction work.

In complementary fashion, that will be the subject of the next EAAG.
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A Diversity of Performances among U.S. Building Product Manufacturers

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

While U.S. national output and total employment have reached their previous peak levels, from before the Great Recession, and are now exploring new higher territory, construction activity is continuing to lag.

There are numerous way to illustrate this point. Today’s Economy at a Glance will focus on just one, utilizing a consistent set of data from the Federal Reserve representing the activity levels of a variety of building product manufacturers (BPMs).

The accompanying graphs show indices of industrial production, from 2000 to the present, in eight building commodity areas. In each instance, the index base is 2012’s monthly average set equal to 100.0.

North American Industrial Classification System (a.k.a., NAICS) numbers have been included in the ‘data source’ references at the bottom of each chart.

For ‘plywood’, ‘cement’ and ‘architectural and structural metals (e.g., engineered buildings)’, the trend in activity levels since the 2008-2009 Big Dip has been clearly up, but not yet to a degree indicating full recovery.
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