Tag Archive for 'infrastructure'

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ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Spending Flat in February

CEU2“Construction is impacted more by weather than just about any economic segment and the impact of February’s brutal weather is evident in the government’s spending figure.”—ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu

Spending 4.1.15Blame it on the weather – that is what many economists have been doing over the past two months as economic data continue to disappoint. Retail sales, durable goods orders and other categories have not been as strong as anticipated.

Nonresidential construction has often proved an exception, with the industry’s momentum gaining steam recently. However, in February, nonresidential construction spending remained virtually unchanged inching down 0.1 percent on a monthly basis, according to the April 1 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. The February 2015 spending figure is 4.6 percent higher than February 2014, as spending for the month totaled $611.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. The estimate for January spending was revised downward, from $614.1 billion to $611.9 billion, while the government revised December’s spending estimate upward from $627 billion to $629.3 billion.

“Construction is impacted more by weather than just about any economic segment and the impact of February’s brutal weather is evident in the government’s spending figure,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “ABC continues to forecast robust nonresidential construction spending recovery in 2015 despite the most recent monthly data, with the obvious exceptions of industry segments most directly and negatively impacted by declines in energy prices.

“The broader U.S. economy has not gotten off to as good a start in 2015 as many had expected with consumer spending growth frustrated by thriftier than anticipated shoppers,” said Basu. “With winter behind us and temperatures warming, the expectation is that economic growth will roar back during the second quarter, which is precisely what happened last year. To the extent that this proves to be true, nonresidential construction’s recovery can be expected to persist.”

Seven of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in February on a monthly basis.

  • Manufacturing-related spending expanded 6.8 percent in February and is up 37.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Conservation and development-related construction spending expanded 11 percent for the month and is up 19.8 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Office-related construction spending expanded 2.4 percent in February and is up 19 percent from the same time one year ago.
  • Amusement and recreation-related construction spending gained 2 percent on a monthly basis and is up 22.5 percent from the same time last year.
  • Education-related construction spending grew 0.3 percent for the month, but is down 0.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Construction spending in the transportation category grew 0.6 percent on a monthly basis and has expanded 9.3 percent on an annual basis.
  • Lodging-related construction spending was up 5 percent on a monthly basis and 10.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Spending in nine nonresidential construction subsectors failed to rise in February.

  • Health care-related construction spending fell 0.9 percent for the month and is down 4.5 percent for the year.
  • Spending in the water supply category dropped 7.8 percent from January, but is still 7.4 percent higher than at the same time last year.
  • Public safety-related construction spending lost 2.2 percent on a monthly basis and is down 9.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Commercial construction spending lost 1.9 percent in February, but is up 13.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Religious spending fell 4.8 percent for the month and is down 10.3 percent from the same time last year.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending shed 1.4 percent for the month, but has grown 19.9 percent on a 12-month basis.
  • Power-related construction spending fell 4.5 percent for the month and is 17.2 percent lower than at the same time one year ago.
  • Lodging construction spending is down 4.4 percent on a monthly basis, but is up 18.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending shed 7.5 percent for the month, but has grown 16 percent on a 12-month basis.
  • Power-related construction spending fell 1.1 percent for the month and is 13.2 percent lower than at the same time one year ago.
  • Communication-related construction spending fell 6.1 percent for the month and is down 15.5 percent for the year.
  • Highway and street-related construction spending was unchanged in February and is up 3.3 percent compared to the same time last year.

To view the previous spending report, click here.

Effects of Falling Oil Prices Ripple Across States and Industries

Effects of Falling  Oil Prices
Effects of Falling  Oil Prices2

Effects of Falling  Oil Prices3

Greg Price, Partner-in-Charge, Energy & Oilfield Services, Sikich LLP

Joe Kulek, Partner-in-Charge, Construction & Real Estate Services, Sikich LLP

ROMCO Equipment Hosts Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Shuster


Charlie Luck Takes Over As Chairman of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

image001Charles Luck IV, president and CEO of Luck Companies, Richmond, Va., is the 2015 Chairman of the Board of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA). His election came during the NSSGA Board of Directors’ meeting at the association’s annual convention in Baltimore.

“Charlie’s insights into what the aggregates industry faces each day, coupled with his values based leadership, will take NSSGA to the next level,” said NSSGA President and CEO Michael W. Johnson. “He is well-prepared to lead and execute our Rocks Build America strategic plan and will advance our association as the leading voice of the industry.”

Charlie Luck IVIn his acceptance address to the NSSGA Annual Membership meeting, Luck urged all to think about how the aggregates industry impacts America. “Let’s never forget that we are building the future infrastructure of our country that enables a quality of life that many other countries can only wish to have,” he said.

He also called on the entire aggregates industry to be a part of the effort and to make a difference. “When all of us are engaged and committed, NSSGA is doing well. When NSSGA is doing well, we are building a better future for this country.”

Luck also outlined a key priority for 2015: a Board Evolution Initiative. “We have a best-in-class strategy, now how do we get a best-in-class board structure?” he asked.

The plan calls for a task force to provide recommendations on a new board structure and rule changes to align the governance of NSSGA with the Rocks Build America strategic plan. “The goal is to have representation in every state with highly qualified and highly committed leaders to ensure the long-term health of NSSGA and the aggregates industry,” Luck said.

Luck considers himself the guardian of a family legacy, built on the founding principles of honesty, integrity and reliability. A 1983 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, Luck is an active member in several professional and trade associations as well as numerous community organizations.

He oversees a growing corporation that employs approximately 800 and has locations in the mid-Atlantic and northeast through its four distinct business units: Luck Stone; Luck Stone Center, Har-Tru Sports and Luck Development Partners. One of Luck’s goals is to ensure the future growth and development of employees and the corporation, while maintaining the company’s leadership role in the aggregates industry.

In April 2011, Luck was honored as the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business Executive of the Year. He is active in civic affairs in Va., and currently serves as a board member for a number of organizations including: the Virginia Foundation for Independent Schools; Virginia Military Institute’s Jackson Hope-Fund; and the Virginia Business Council.

Founded in 1923 and having thrived under the leadership of three generations of the Luck family, Luck Companies has embraced creativity, commitment, leadership and integrity as its core values, and strives to build a culture centered on the success of others. Luck Companies inspires its associates, customers, partners and communities to positively impact their lives and the lives of those around them through Values Based Leadership. Luck Companies believes the best path to exemplary personal and business performance is through making a difference in the lives of others around the world. To learn more about Luck Companies, please visit luckcompanies.com.

NSSGA is the leading voice and advocate for the aggregates industry. Its members – stone, sand and gravel producers and the equipment manufacturers and service providers who support them – produce the essential raw materials found in homes, buildings, roads, bridges and public works projects and represent more than 90 percent of the crushed stone and 70 percent of the sand and gravel mined annually in the United States. Production of aggregates in the U.S. in 2014 totaled 2.17 billion metric tons at a value of $20.3 billion. The aggregates industry employs approximately 100,000 highly-skilled men and women.

Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership Celebrated at World of Asphalt

UnknownGroup marks successful 10-year effort to ensure worker safety; New best practices guidance from NIOSH and field guide from NAPA/CPWR released

With a variety of new equipment and innovations as a backdrop, members of the Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership were recognized during World of Asphalt 2015. The ceremony last week marked the successful completion of the partnership’s efforts to develop and validate engineering controls for silica dust in asphalt milling operations.

The Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership — which is made up of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), milling-machine manufacturers, labor, academia, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) — has worked over the past decade to design, test, and implement engineering controls for milling machines that effectively reduce potential silica exposure below OSHA’s new proposed permissible exposure limit (PEL).

During the ceremony, Dr. Christine Branche, Director of the Office of Construction Safety and Health at NIOSH, spoke on the devastating effects of crystalline silica exposure and highlighted the recent release of an asphalt milling best practices document to ensure milling machine worker safety. “Some 1.7 million U.S. workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in a variety of occupations, including road and highway workers,” Branche said. “It is incurable, but completely preventable.” Also released was a field guide developed by NAPA and CPWR — The Center for Construction Research and Training covering best practices for milling operations.

“Thanks to this constructive partnership between industry, equipment manufacturers, labor, and regulators, engineering controls that ensure worker protection during roadway milling operations will soon be standard equipment on milling machines,” said NAPA President Mike Acott. “It shows the sort of progress that can be made when government, labor, and industry work together, in a voluntary fashion, to address real-world issues.”

Copies of the NIOSH guide, “Best Practice Engineering Control Guidelines to Control Worker Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica during Asphalt Pavement Milling,” can be downloaded from http://go.usa.gov/3cseQ. The CPWR/NAPA “Field Guide for Controlling Silica Dust Exposure on Asphalt Paving Milling Machines,” can be downloaded from http://goaspha.lt/1DxPbLr.

The World of Asphalt ceremony also included comments from NAPA Chairman Michael Cote, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer at Lane Construction Corp.; Donald “Chip” Booth, Safety and Health Director at the International Union of Operating Engineers; Scott Schneider, Occupational Safety and Health Division Director at the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America; and James H. Bevill, Chief Engineer of Cold Planers at Roadtec Inc.

About The National Asphalt Pavement Association

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts nearly 1,100 companies as members, was founded in 1955.