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Archive for March, 2017

ConstructConnect’s -2% February Starts Almost Hold Their Ground

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect announced today that February starts, excluding residential activity, nearly held their own versus an upwardly revised January. The latest month’s level of $26.2 billion was only -1.7% compared with the volume in the month before.

2017-03-21-US-Nonresidential-Construction-Starts-Feb-2017

Throughout the long-term history of the starts, there has been a typical drop – due to weather-related factors − of -2.5% between January and February. Harsh conditions in winter can put a halt to field work. February, however, is the last in a string of months during which starts tend to decline period-to-period on account of seasonality. From March through July, the tendency is for starts to pick up from one month to the next.

Starts in February 2017 versus what was an exceptionally strong February 2016 were -9.2%. Year-to-date starts in 2017 compared with January-to-February of last year were -7.5%.

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 considerably larger share of total construction than residential activity. The former’s combined proportion of total put-in-place construction in the Census Bureau’s January report was 60%; the latter’s was 40%.
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Top 10 Project Starts in the U.S. – February 2017

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

The accompanying table records the top 10 project starts in the U.S. for February 2017.

2017-03-21-Top-10-US-Projects-Feb-2017

There are several reasons for highlighting upcoming large projects. Such jobs have often received a fair amount of media coverage. Therefore, people in the industry are on the lookout for when jobsite work actually gets underway. And, as showcase projects, they highlight geographically where major construction projects are proceeding.

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Nonresidential Construction Starts Trend Graphs – February 2017

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

Clichés are often true and it is the case that a picture can be worth a thousand words.

2017-03-21-US-Nonresidential-Construction-Start-Trends-Feb-2017

Below are six graphs recording 12-month moving averages of ConstructConnect ’s nonresidential construction starts.

When the value of the current month is higher than for the same month a year ago, the line will turn up; when lower, it will dip.

String a couple of similar positive or negative directional changes together over several months and one has a trend.
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A Dozen Mid-March Economic Nuggets

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

Further big improvements in America’s labor market statistics at the beginning of this year – with net new jobs creation climbing by almost half a million (+473,000) and the unemployment rate falling to a tight 4.7% − have convinced many analysts that the Federal Reserve will be acting quite aggressively in 2017 to hike interest rates. Where before there was an expectation that the federal funds rate would be lifted two or three times through December, by 25 basis points on each occasion (with 100 basis points equaling 1.00%), the consensus now is for an upward adjustment more frequently, either three or four times.

The Fed is probably hoping to attain, in easy-to-absorb stages over this year and next, a key policy-setting rate close to 3.00%. Nor are stock markets viewing such a prospect with anything like the same amount of dread as in the not so distant past. Share prices have been on a roll that has taken them to all-time highs.

Canada’s most recent employment report had a bottom line figure that wasn’t particularly outstanding (i.e., net new jobs of +15,000 in February), but included in the detail was an impressive increase in full-time staffing (+105,000), with most of the gain (+84,000) coming among what are termed ‘core-aged’ women (i.e., females 25-to-54 years of age).
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9% Drop in ConstructConnect’s January Starts Matches Usual Seasonality

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Article source: ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect announced today that January’s level of U.S. construction starts, excluding residential activity, was $24.6 billion, a decrease of 9.1% versus the dollar volume in the period before. The month-to-month drop was almost an exact match for the usual December-to-January decline of -8.5%. Due to harsh winter weather – which is another way of saying ‘seasonality’ – January is traditionally the worst month of the year for construction groundbreakings or starts.

2017-02-27-US-Nonresidential-Construction-Starts-Jan-2017

Starts in January 2017 versus their level in January 2016 were also down, -11.6%. January 2017 compared with average January starts over the five years, 2012 to 2016, was +6.0%.

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 considerably larger share of total construction than residential activity. The former’s combined proportion of total put-in-place construction in the Census Bureau’s December report was 61%; the latter’s was 39%.

ConstructConnect’s construction starts are leading indicators for the Census Bureau’s capital investment or put-in-place series. Also, the reporting period for starts (i.e., January 2017) is one month ahead of the reporting period for the investment series (i.e., December 2016.)
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