Tag Archive for 'Associated Builders and Contractors'

ABC Reports: Construction Materials Prices Up 0.5 Percent in March

CEU2“Despite the increase in materials prices, this report does not signal a period of much higher inflation.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

PPI_4 11 14Construction materials prices expanded 0.5 percent in March and are up 1.1 percent from March of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s April 11 producer price index release. Nonresidential construction materials prices are up 0.4 percent for the month and are 1 percent higher than the same time one year ago.

“Despite the increase in materials prices, this report does not signal a period of much higher inflation,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “While it is true that there were significant increases in overall monthly inflation for both the broader economy and for construction, only a handful of categories were actually associated with a meaningful uptick in prices.”

Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices fell 0.1 percent in March but are up 1.7 percent year over year. Crude energy materials prices fell 6.8 percent in March but are still 13.6 percent higher than one year ago, and have expanded by 34.1 percent through the first three months of 2014.

“With respect to the broader economy, much of the inflation was related to food, which likely is a result of meteorological impacts,” said Basu. “With respect to construction, only three of 11 categories actually experienced increasing prices for the month. Given modest projections for both global and national economic growth, it is unlikely that significant inflationary pressures will be experienced during the month ahead with respect to most construction materials prices.”

The following materials prices increased in March.

Nonferrous wire and cable prices gained 0.1 percent in March but are down 2.7 percent from one year ago.

Concrete products prices expanded 0.3 percent in March and are up 3.9 percent from one year ago.

Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding expanded by 1.1 percent for the month and are up 0.1 percent from one year ago.

Eight of the 11 key construction inputs did not experience price increases for the month.

Iron and steel prices fell 1.7 percent in March but are up 1.3 percent from the same time last year.

Natural gas prices fell 10.9 percent in March but are 48.5 percent higher than one year ago.

Crude energy prices fell 6.8 percent in March but are 13.6 percent higher than one year ago.

Steel mill products prices shed 1.1 percent for the month but are 1.4 percent higher than one year ago.

Crude petroleum prices fell 6.4 percent in March but are up 3.9 percent from March 2013.

Prices for plumbing fixtures shed 0.8 percent for the month but are up 1.9 percent from the same time last year.

Fabricated structural metal product prices are down 0.2 percent for the month but have risen 0.5 percent from one year ago.

Softwood lumber prices fell 0.8 percent in March and are 2.1 percent lower than one year ago.

To view the previous PPI report, click HERE

ABC Reports: Jobs Report Meets Expectations In March

CEU2“The 6,700 nonresidential construction jobs added in March demonstrate the growth we expect in the second quarter of 2014.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Employment_4 4The U.S. construction industry gained 19,000 jobs in March and the construction unemployment rate fell to 11.3 percent (non-seasonally adjusted), according to the April 4 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Nonresidential construction segments added 6,700 jobs in March, a marked improvement from the 2,800 jobs (revised) added in February. The improvement led the construction unemployment rate to fall from 12.8 percent in February 2014 and 14.7 percent in March 2013.

The residential sector continued to build momentum, adding 9,100 jobs for the month. Heavy and civil engineering added 3,200 jobs in March and has added 22,100 jobs in the past 12 months.

“The 6,700 nonresidential construction jobs added in March demonstrate the growth we expect in the second quarter of 2014,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The colder than normal winter has been particularly cruel to the construction industry, and its departure should bring accelerated job growth.

“While it is promising to see the construction unemployment rate shed more than a full percent in March, it remains well above pre-recession levels,” said Basu. “As spring finally settles in, the construction unemployment rate should return to the levels experienced in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 (approximately 9 percent).”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey, the national unemployment rate remained unchanged in March at 6.7 percent as the country added a total of 192,000 jobs. January and February’s jobs reports also were revised upward by a combined 37,000 jobs.

“Although the unemployment rate remained unchanged in March, the labor force (those either employed or seeking employment) increased by 1.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 after falling by 500,000 in 2013,” said Basu. “Gains to the labor force will, at least in the short term, apply upward pressure on the unemployment rate. That said, given the number of jobs created, upward revisions to prior months and expansion of the average workweek, today’s jobs report should not be viewed as disappointing.”

Nonresidential building construction employment grew by 2,200 jobs for the month and is up by 14,000 jobs (2.1 percent) since March 2013.

Residential building construction employment rose by 3,100 jobs in March and is up by 547,800 jobs (7.9 percent) since March 2013.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors gained 4,500 jobs for the month and employment in that category is up by 12,700 jobs (0.6 percent) compared to the same time last year.

Residential specialty trade contractors gained 6,000 jobs in March and have added 55,200 jobs (3.6 percent) since March 2013.

The heavy and civil engineering construction segment gained 3,200 jobs in March and job totals are up by 22,100 (2.5 percent) compared to the same time last year.

To view the previous Employment report, click here

ABC Reports: Construction Materials Prices Expand Again in February

CEU2“February marks the second consecutive month in which construction materials prices expanded briskly.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

PPI_3 14 14Construction materials prices expanded 0.7 percent in February and are up 0.6 percent over the past year, according to the March 14 producer price index release by the Department of Labor. More specifically, nonresidential construction materials prices are up 0.7 percent for the month and are 0.4 percent higher than the same time one year ago.

“February marks the second consecutive month in which construction materials prices expanded briskly,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Construction materials prices experienced a remarkable lack of volatility during the last three quarters of 2013; however, that trend appears to be firmly behind us.”

Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices expanded 0.4 percent in February and are up 1.3 percent from February 2013. Crude energy materials prices and natural gas prices led the way, expanding 14.7 percent and 31.5 percent respectively in February. February marked the crude energy segment’s largest monthly growth since January 2004.

“The harsh winter is to blame for the spike in energy segment prices,” said Basu. “In fact, crude petroleum and natural gas both experienced historic price growth in February. We are certain that February’s data reflects the colder-than-normal winter; however, it is difficult to say if increased demand had any part in the month’s price growth. With the frigid weather continuing through early March, it may be awhile before we know this winter’s true impact.

“Another factor has been a tidal wave of economic news from China, much of which suggests that China’s economy is slowing faster than expected,” said Basu. “That could cause prices to dip during future months. In any case, greater price volatility should be anticipated.”

The prices of the following materials increased in February.

Natural gas prices expanded 31.5 percent in February and are 74 percent higher than one year ago.

Crude energy prices grew 14.7 percent in February and are 18.1 percent higher than one year ago.

Concrete products prices grew 0.9 percent in February and are 3.7 percent higher than one year ago.

Steel mill products prices expanded 0.7 percent for the month and are 1.9 percent higher than one year ago.

Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding expanded by 1.4 percent for the month but are down 0.4 percent from one year ago.

Crude petroleum prices grew 10.6 percent in February and are 3.4 percent higher than one year ago.

Prices for plumbing fixtures expanded 1.5 percent for the month and are 3.1 percent higher than one year ago.

Fabricated structural metal product prices are up 0.1 percent and are 0.4 percent higher than one year ago.

Softwood lumber prices gained 0.5 percent and are 1.2 percent higher than one year ago.

Only two key construction inputs did not experience price increases for the month.

Nonferrous wire and cable prices shed 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and are down 4.3 percent from one year ago.

Iron and steel prices fell 0.4 percent in February but are up 4.3 percent from one year ago.

To view the previous PPI report, click HERE

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Gains A Handful Of Jobs In February

CEU2“The 400 jobs added in February is more in line with what would be expected given economic and atmospheric forces.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

employment_3 7The U.S. nonresidential construction industry gained just 400 jobs in February, according to the March 7 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The construction industry as a whole added only 15,000 jobs for the month, with the vast majority of new jobs coming from residential construction. The construction unemployment rate expanded to 12.8 percent in February from 12.3 percent in January (non-seasonally adjusted).

The underwhelming jobs number is particularly disappointing given the encouraging 26,600 jobs (revised) the segment added in January. The number would have been more dismal if not for the heavy and civil engineering segment, which added 12,300 jobs in February.

“Compared to January’s surprising gain of 26,600 jobs, the 400 jobs added in February is more in line with what would be expected given economic and atmospheric forces,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “It remains likely that nonresidential construction employment gains will snap back with the weather during the second quarter of 2014.”

According to the BLS household survey, the national unemployment rate expanded by 0.1 percent in February, rising to 6.7 percent. Perhaps most importantly, there was evidence of accelerated wage gains among production workers—something that will increasingly impact construction firms’ profitability during the ensuing months of 2014.

The heavy and civil engineering construction segment gained 12,300 jobs in February and job totals are up by 12,100 (1.4 percent) annually.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors gained 3,700 jobs for the month; employment in that category is up by 25,200 jobs (1.2 percent) annually.

Residential building construction employment rose by 3,400 jobs in February and is up by 50,000 jobs (8.3 percent) annually.

Residential specialty trade contractors lost 1,700 jobs in February but have added 51,200 jobs (3.4 percent) annually.

Nonresidential building construction employment fell by 3,300 jobs for the month, but is up by 13,300 jobs (2 percent) annually.

To view the previous Employment report, click here

Associated Builders and Contractors Names Interstates Companies Contractor of the Year

image004Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today announced that Interstates Companies is its 2013 Contractor of the Year. Interstates Companies Chairman and CEO Larry Den Herder accepted the award on behalf of the company Feb. 11 during ABC’s 24th annual Excellence in Construction Awards ceremony in Maui, Hawaii.

“Each year, ABC recognizes an individual or company that attains a level of achievement that raises the bar for all of us,” said 2014 ABC National Chairman Dan Brodbeck, president and CEO of Compass Partners, LLC. “Interstates’ commitment to safety and excellence on all levels helps to advance our organization, the construction industry and the merit shop philosophy.”

Marking its 60th year of business in 2013, Interstates began as a small electrical company in 1953 that was founded on the core values of dependability, integrity, trust, quality and family. Today, the company boasts 600 employees and delivers $100 million of work annually in design-build electrical solutions. In addition to electrical construction, Interstates offers electrical engineering, control systems and instrumentation services.

Interstates first became an ABC member in 1975 and currently is a member of ABC’s Iowa, Rocky Mountain and Cornhusker chapters.