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Archive for February, 2019

Minimal Progress in Fixing U.S. and Canadian Foreign Trade Difficulties

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

Early in February, there should have been the release of December 2018 foreign trade statistics for both the U.S. and Canada. The publication schedule has been thrown off track, however, by the 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown, which kept Census Bureau workers off the job.

U.S. and Canadian Foreign Trade Graphic

Since three-quarters of Canadian exports are shipped to the U.S. and two-thirds of Canadian imports are drawn from the U.S., Statistics Canada felt it could not publish accurate numbers either. Therefore, the latest statistics available for study, both south and north of the border, are for November. A statement has been issued that the target date for dissemination of December findings is March 6th.

Nevertheless, there is much to be learned from the material that is at hand. The bottom line is that there has been minimal progress lately in fixing significant U.S. and Canadian foreign trade difficulties.

Graphs 1 and 2 tell the story. Canada’s trade deficit (annualized) in November was -$25 billion CAD; America’s was a massive -$592 billion USD.


Series (7 of 7): Rankings of States by Industrial Sub-Sector Jobs – Construction

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

This article is the seventh, or final one, in a series of seven that examines key industrial sectors to determine where they are most significant regionally. Rankings of state strength in each industrial sub-sector are based on both ‘weight’ and ‘concentration’ of relevant employment.

‘Weight’ is simply the number of jobs in the industrial sub-sector in each state. ‘Concentration’ is each state’s number of jobs in the sub-sector divided by the state’s population. In effect, it’s a ‘per capita’ figure, except that it’s expressed as number of jobs per million population.

By ‘weight’, the states with the largest populations are almost always high in the rankings. The rankings by ‘concentration’, however, often expose some unexpected winners.


A Slow Beginning for 2019 Construction Starts

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect announced today that January’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential work, was $27.8 billion, a change of -6.7% compared with December 2018’s level of $29.7 billion. The latest month-to-month adjustment was in close alignment with the usual shift in starts volumes between December and January, due to seasonality, of -8.5%.

A Slow Beginning for 2019 Construction Starts Graphic

Nonresidential starts in January 2019 relative to the previous five-year average for January, i.e., from 2014 through 2018, were -4.5%. January 2019 compared with January 2018 was -20.6%. At $35.0 billion, January 2018 managed an abnormally high volume of starts activity.

The starts figures throughout this report are not seasonally adjusted (NSA). Nor are they altered for inflation. They are expressed in what are termed ‘current’ as opposed to ‘constant’ dollars.

‘Nonresidential building’ plus ‘engineering/civil’ work accounts for a larger share of total construction than residential activity. The former’s combined proportion of total put-in-place construction in the Census Bureau’s latest report, for November, was 59%; the latter’s was 41%.


Top 25 U.S. Cities for Medical Facility Construction Starts

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (CMAs) in the United States with population levels above one million each. Drawing from ConstructConnect’s data pool for those 51 cities, Table 1 ranks the Top 25 markets in America for medical facility construction starts in 2018. (Map 1 showcases the Top 20.)

Leading all cities last year was Washington, D.C., with groundbreakings on hospitals, clinics, nursing and seniors’ homes combined valued at $1.3 billion. Next in line were Cleveland ($1.1 billion), Phoenix ($883 million), Cincinnati ($858 million), Pittsburgh ($740 million), Atlanta and Orlando (tied at $736 million), Tampa-St. Petersburg ($718 million); and Houston ($708 million).

Notice the presence of a pair of cities in Ohio – i.e., Cleveland and Cincinnati – only a rung or two short of the summit in the dollar-volume listing.


Top 25 U.S. Cities for School Construction Starts

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Article source: ConstructConnect

There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (CMAs) in the United States with population levels above one million. Drawing from ConstructConnect’s data pool for those 51 cities, Table 1 ranks the Top 25 markets in America for educational facility construction starts last year. (Map 1 showcases the Top 20.)


Educational Facility Construction Starts
Top 25 Markets among Biggest U.S. Cities*
Rank by
2018 2017 2018 % Change
$ Value City / MSA                    ($billions) 2018/2017
1 New York, NY-NJ $3.290 $3.367 2.3%
2 Dallas-Ft Worth, TX $2.355 $3.100 31.7%
3 Los Angeles, CA $2.416 $2.626 8.7%
4 Houston, TX $2.778 $2.592 -6.7%
5 Seattle-Tacoma, WA $1.970 $1.560 -20.8%
6 Chicago, IL $1.188 $1.219 2.6%
7 Boston, MA $2.023 $1.217 -39.8%
8 San Francisco – Oakland, CA $1.014 $1.145 13.0%
9 Portland, OR-WA $0.370 $1.117 201.8%
10 Philadelphia, PA $0.790 $1.090 38.0%
11 Atlanta, GA $0.807 $0.991 22.8%
12 Washington, DC – VA  – MD – WV $1.279 $0.966 -24.5%
13 San Diego, CA $0.543 $0.907 67.2%
14 Baltimore, MD $0.917 $0.866 -5.6%
15 Sacramento, CA $0.291 $0.852 193.0%
16 Austin, TX $0.961 $0.762 -20.7%
17 San Antonio, TX $1.142 $0.735 -35.6%
18 Las Vegas, NV $0.286 $0.654 128.7%
19 Orlando, FL $0.640 $0.613 -4.1%
20 Salt Lake City, UT $0.660 $0.609 -7.7%
21 Cleveland, OH $0.369 $0.586 59.0%
22 Raleigh, NC $0.372 $0.574 54.3%
23 Denver, CO $0.422 $0.573 35.8%
24 Minneapolis – St Paul, MN – WI $0.843 $0.561 -33.4%
25 Providence, RI-MA $0.306 $0.551 80.1%
*There are 51 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the U.S. with populations exceeding onemillion.
Data source and table: ConstructConnect ‘Insight’.



Infographic: Canada’s Fast Population Growth

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Due to its complexity, much of the subject matter concerning the economy requires detailed editorial commentary, often supported by relevant tables and graphs. This infographic looks at Canada’s extraordinarily fast population growth and the latest statistics.

Infographic: Canada's latest population statistics

At the same time, though, there are many topics (e.g., relating to demographics, housing starts, etc.) that cry out for compelling ‘short-hand’ visualizations.

Whichever path is followed, the point of the journey, almost always, is to reach a bottom line or two.

To provide additional value at its corporate blog site, ConstructConnect is now pleased to offer an ongoing series of Infographics.

These will help readers sort out the ‘big picture’ more clearly.

Click Here to view the latest infographic.

To view more infographics, Click Here

Also read the related article, “15 Bullet Points on Canada’s Extraordinarily Fast Population Growth“.

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