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Posts Tagged ‘Construction’

By No Means is it the Same Old World (Part 2)

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Article source: CMDGroup

Part 1 of this Economy at a Glance introduced the topic of a dozen major ways in which the structure of society and the framework of the global economy are changing beyond what humankind has ever experienced before.

In Part 2, let’s dive right in with transition number (4), which will then lead organically into (5) and beyond.

(4) Rock star central bankers: Given that establishment politicians have been passing out of favor, maybe it’s just as well that central bank Chairmen and Governors have stepped into the spotlight.

Changes to taxation, spending and other fiscal tools to guide the economy have fallen out of favor and almost the whole responsibility for managing output, employment and other prosperity  indicators has fallen on each nation’s central bank.

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Canadian Put-in-place Construction Forecasts: Spring 2016 Edition (Part 1)

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

 

Article source: CMDGroup

Based on the latest ‘actuals’ from Statistics Canada, the spring 2016 forecasts, out to 2019, of construction capital spending − also known as put-in-place investment – have just been calculated by CanaData.

Versus the fall of 2015, the year-over-year projections have mostly been scaled back.

Grand total constant dollar (i.e., adjusted for inflation) construction will decline a further 3.1% in 2016 after a drop of 3.4% in 2015. 2017 will see a slight improvement of +1.0%, followed by +3.5% in 2018 and +4.3% in 2019.

In the fall of last year, the comparable percentage changes were: 2015, -2.2%; 2016, +0.5%; 2017, +2.7%; and 2018, +4.1%. There was no 2019 forecast at that time.

In current dollars, 2015’s grand total was $285 billion, or -2.4% compared with $292 billion in 2014.

After a further 1.8% decline in this current year, 2016 will chalk up a volume of slightly less than $280 billion.

Current dollar gains of 2.9% and 5.6% in 2017 and 2018 respectively will finally lift the total dollar value of all Canadian put-in-place construction activity above $300 billion two years from now.

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Now it’s the Turn of U.S. Construction Material Costs

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Article source: CMDGroup

The cost of construction is largely determined by labor and material inputs.

The previous Economy at a Glance studied U.S. year-over-year average hourly wages in construction relative to all private sector jobs and other major industries.

Expanding the analysis somewhat, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in its monthly Employment Situation report, publishes four series on wage rates. Table B3 records average hourly and average weekly earnings for all employees in a range of industries. Table B8 has similar average hourly and weekly earnings information, but only for production and non-supervisory personnel.

For construction, the December 2015 year-over-year results were +2.9% (average hourly) and +4.2% (average weekly) from Table B3 and +2.7% (average hourly) and +3.3% (average weekly) from Table B8.

To summarize, the earnings results for construction ranged from +2.7% to +4.2% annually.

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U.S. Wage Gains: Construction versus other Major Industrial Sectors

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Article source: CMDGroup

At the end of 2010, the unemployment rate in the United States was 9.3%.

Five years later, as of December 2015, the national jobless figure has been cut nearly in half, to stand at 5.0%.

There’s a common lament being heard that the tightening in U.S. labor markets has been overstated because a large bloc of potential workers has given up hunting for a job.

Furthermore, so the argument goes, whatever employment improvement has happened isn’t yet leading to better wages and salaries and the economy won’t really build up a head of steam until workers are being paid more, so they can spend more.

This Economy at a Glance will look at the percentage changes of year-over-year average hourly earnings for both production and supervisory workers in the private sector as a whole, and for major industrial sectors. Historical data can be readily downloaded from the web site of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In the hopes of finding trend lines, the analysis in this EAAG will be limited to the past five years.

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CMD’s December Starts Fell Slightly More than Usual Seasonal Decline

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Article source: CMDGroup

CMD announced today that December’s level of U.S. construction starts, excluding residential work, was $22.2 billion, a drop of 6.9% versus November.

CMD announced today that December’s level of U.S. construction starts, excluding residential work, was $22.2 billion, a drop of 6.9% versus November. The pull-back was only slightly more than the usual or long-term December-versus-November percentage change, due to seasonality, of -5.0%. (To note for January, weather usually has an even greater effect in that month, -8.5%.)

Compared with December of 2014, the latest month’s starts level was -7.0%; but versus the five-year average for December over the past five years (i.e., 2010 to 2014 inclusive), it was +9.2%.

Full year 2015 starts were +1.9% relative to the same January-to-December period of 2014.

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.

industry-snapshot-jan_2016 30percent
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Eight Demography Charts that Explain U.S. Construction Activity

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Article source: CMDGroup

Talk to a demographer and he or she is likely to tell you that everything important that is happening in society and business can be explained by their practice or science.

 

As an economist, I don’t fully subscribe to such an assertion. Besides, what would I do if I didn’t have interest rates, inflation and government policy to mentally juggle as well as the study of demography?

 

But I don’t dismiss the claim out of hand either.

 

It does warrant admitting that population level, change and age-structure over time are key determinants of construction activity in several major type-of-structure categories.

 

That will be the focus of this Economy at a Glance, in two parts. The story will be told through the use of eight graphs.

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As Fall Approaches, Key Aspects of The U.S. and Canadian Construction Outlooks

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Article source: CMDGroup

Yes, there are ongoing caveats concerning the U.S. economy – a disproportionate number of part-time as opposed to full-time jobs; high levels of student debt; the psychological hangover of recession-era foreclosures in the housing market; etc. Nevertheless, proof of greater strength is everywhere.

The bellwether initial jobless claims figure has been below 300,000 for 24 weeks in a row. This proxy measure for layoffs, during the week ending July 18, fell to its lowest level since 1973, when total employment was nothing like as high as it is now.

In both June and July of this year, total housing starts in America climbed above 1.2 million units (annualized) for the first time since before the recession. This was the logical result of residential building permits bettering 1.3 million units (annualized) in June.

And the almighty ‘greenback’ has become even more powerful, soaring above every other major currency, mostly by percentage changes that are in double-digits-plus.

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Expected BIM Trends in 2013

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

BIM Trends for 2013

According to a study       conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction, around 71 percent of the AEC companies in North America are using building information modeling (BIM) technology, as of 2012. Among the companies using BIM, nearly 50 percent have been using it for more than five years, while around 40 percent are implementing it in more than 60 percent of their projects.

Another survey, conducted by Design Master Software Inc. in 2012, among 74 engineers and designers from the US, Canada, and several other countries, revealed that around 62 percent of the respondents are already using 3D-BIM. Moreover, around 75 percent of those who are not using this technology said that they expect to use it on more than half of their projects during 2013, 2014 and 2015, while another 30 percent said that they will use 3D-BIM in all their upcoming projects in the next three years.

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Future of Building Information Modeling

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Did you know that designers of the very first automobile dubbed the invention as “horseless carriages” since they were reluctant to change their mindset and accept a revolutionary technology? Similarly, designers of steel frames covered them in masonry so that they looked like already-known bearing wall structures. It took them years to utilize the expressive capability of steel that is quite prevalent in designing buildings today. There are scores of other examples where almost every industry has tried to dismiss an innovative solution and attempted to shape it according to familiar practices. But eventually, true innovation conquers all. The AEC industry is also undergoing a similar phase with BIM technology. Nevertheless, scope and future of BIM services is resplendent with opportunities galore. Let us get a sneak peek at what the future holds for Building Information Modeling.

Building Information Modeling – The Future Ahead

The increased awareness about green energy efficient homes has led to an amplified interest in Building Information Modeling services as the means to achieve this. The drivers of adopting green technology include energy efficiency, environmental health and generating less waste. With BIM technology, AEC firms can build facilities with Green House Gases (GHG) control, carbon regulation and zero emissions.

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BIM – A Collaborative Approach to Working

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Companies such as Toyota and Boeing in the manufacturing sector have been using digital design models for decades and now seem to have become masters in the art of collaborative projects. For the construction industry to reach that level where collaborative thinking is second nature, the industry needs to expand its view and come out of its safe haven. Clashes between architects and engineers, or between contractors and suppliers are not uncommon. Building Information Modeling, with its very core of collaboration, attempts to bridge these gaps between different stakeholders. Slowly and steadily, the AEC industry is also moving on to that plane where an integrated approach is fast replacing the traditional methods.

Building Information Modeling

Integrated practice is the key to collaboration in any domain. An integrated approach is when all the stakeholders involved in a construction project life cycle – architects, designers, engineers, contractors etc. work together. Throughout the whole building life-cycle, they can, together, do their bit of value addition towards the final structure. Such a collaborative way of functioning offers enhanced quality and efficiency for all building processes, thereby resulting in achieving cost effectiveness as well as client satisfaction, which is crucial to any project.

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