Tag Archive for 'manufacturing'

Wells Fargo Reports: Construction Spending Softens in August

Wells_Fargo_Securities_logoFor the second consecutive month, total construction spending pulled back in August. The loss of spending momentum was broad based with lower readings in residential, nonresidential and public spending.

Broad-Based Weakness

  • Following a downwardly revised 0.3 percent decline in July, construction spending fell 0.7 percent in August. Private sector outlays declined 0.3 percent, while public sector spending tumbled 2.0 percent.
  • Private nonresidential construction, which has been on a roll recently, took a breather in August, led by declines in commercial, power and manufacturing.

Sector Outlook Still Constructive

  • While the August report proved soft, construction spending continues to reflect a sector with positive momentum. Through the first eight months of the year, construction spending is up 4.9 percent from the same period in 2015. Anticipation for the continuation of the U.S. economic expansion and a low interest rate environment supports our outlook for moderate construction spending gains in the quarters ahead.

Construction Spending Softens in August

Construction Spending Softens in August Construction Spending Softens in August Construction Spending Softens in August

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Spending Down Again in June, First Annual Decline Since 2013

1291931467352794367Nonresidential construction spending dipped 1 percent in June and has now contracted for three consecutive months according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential spending, which totaled $682 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, has fallen 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, marking the first time nonresidential spending has declined on an annual basis since July 2013.

“On a monthly basis, the numbers are not as bad as they seem, as May’s nonresidential construction spending estimate was revised higher. However, this fails to explain the first year-over-year decline in nearly three years,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “There are many forces at work, most of them negative, with the noteworthy exception of construction materials prices, which are down on a year-over-year basis. To the extent that savings are being passed along to purchasers of construction services, spending would appear lower in dollar terms than when measured in physical terms such as square footage.

“Thanks in part to the investment of foreign capital in America, spending related to office space and lodging are up by more than 16 percent year-over-year,” said Basu. The global economy is weak, and international investors are searching for yield and stability. U.S. commercial real estate has become a popular destination for foreign capital. However, the weakness of the global economy may also help explain the decline in manufacturing-related construction spending of nearly 5 percent for the month and more than 10 percent year-over-year.

“Though many contractors continue to report extensive backlog, the data suggest that average firm backlog may begin to retrench,” warned Basu. “The only significant driver of economic growth in America presently is consumer spending. Corporate profits remain stagnant and business investment remains underwhelming. Public sector spending does not appear positioned to accelerate anytime soon despite the passage of a federal highway bill last year.”

Precisely half of the 16 nonresidential subsectors expanded in June. Two of the largest subsectors—manufacturing and commercial—experienced significant contractions in June, however, and were responsible for a majority of the dip in spending.

Tepid spending by public agencies also continues to shape the data. Despite a monthly pick-up in spending, water-supply construction spending is down 14 percent on a year-over-year basis. Public safety construction spending is down 8.4 percent from a year ago, sewage and waste disposal by nearly 15 percent, highway and street by about 6 percent, education by 4 percent and transportation by more than 3 percent.

Chart_8_1_16 Spending_8_1_16

To see more visit:

http://www.abc.org/NewsMedia/ConstructionEconomics/ConstructionEconomicUpdate/tabid/270/categoryid/46/Default

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Spending Surges in April

 

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“The upbeat assessment of nonresidential construction in April has been rendered more meaningful by the upward revisions for prior months.”—ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Spending 6.1.15Today’s Census Bureau release regarding nonresidential construction spending did not just offer good news about April; it also supplied upwardly revised spending data for both February and March. Nonresidential spending expanded 3.2 percent on a monthly basis in April and spending totaled $646.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, according to the government’s initial estimate. Nonresidential construction is up by a solid 8.8 percent over the past year, consistent with ABC’s forecast of high single-digit growth. The Census Bureau also revised March’s nonresidential spending figure from $611.8 billion to $626.7 billion, and February’s figure from $613.1 billion to $618.4 billion. Initial estimates suggested that nonresidential construction was sagging during the early months of the year; however, the new data indicate spending has expanded during each of the previous three months.

“The upbeat assessment of nonresidential construction in April has been rendered more meaningful by the upward revisions for prior months,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The presumption had been that nonresidential spending construction data would improve as we approached the summer, and the outlook ahead remains solid. There is a considerable amount of financial capital available to move construction projects forward and low interest rates certainly help. While the availability of substantial financial capital may eventually produce over-built private construction markets, for now the expectation is that progress will continue.”

All but one nonresidential construction sector experienced spending increases in April:

  • Manufacturing-related construction spending expanded 2.6 percent in April and is up a whopping 52.9 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Office-related construction spending expanded 3.7 percent in April and is up 8.8 percent compared to the same time one year ago.
  • Construction spending in the transportation category grew 1.6 percent on a monthly basis and has expanded 11.6 percent on an annual basis.
  • Lodging-related construction spending was up 5.5 percent on a monthly basis and 17.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Health care-related construction spending expanded 2.1 percent for the month and is up 2.6 percent compared to the same time last year.
  • Spending in the water supply category expanded 0.7 percent from March and is up 0.8 on an annual basis.
  • Public safety-related construction spending gained 2.3 percent on a monthly basis, but is down 5.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Commercial construction spending expanded 2.7 percent in April and is up 17.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Religious spending gained 3.3 percent for the month, but is down 7.8 percent compared to the same time last year.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending gained 0.5 percent for the month and has grown 14.9 percent on a 12-month basis.
  • Power-related construction spending grew 2.5 percent for the month, but is 11.3 percent lower than the same time one year ago.
  • Highway and street-related construction spending expanded 8.5 percent in April and is up 4.8 percent compared to the same time last year.
  • Conservation and development-related construction spending grew 3.7 percent for the month and is up 17.2 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Amusement and recreation-related construction spending improved 2.5 percent on a monthly basis and is up 23.3 percent from the same time last year.
  • Education-related construction spending gained 3.2 percent for the month and is up 0.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Spending declined in only one nonresidential construction subsector in April:

  • Communication-related construction spending fell 5.9 percent for the month and is down 5.5 percent for the year.

To view the previous spending report, click here.

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.

Wells Fargo Reports: U.S. Economy Flexes Muscles With Surge in Production

Wells_Fargo_Securities_logoIndustrial production surged 1.3 percent in November as October’s initially reported decline was reversed to a slight gain. Manufacturing was the key driver with big gains this month and an upward revision in October.
Strong Report with Broad-Based Gains
The 1.3 percent increase in industrial production for November is the largest monthly pop in more than four years. It comes on the heels of an upward revision that moved last month from a slight decline to a slight gain in output. Manufacturing production was up 1.1 percent on the month with broad-based support. After three straight monthly declines for motor vehicles and parts, that series staged a comeback in November with a 5.1 percent monthly increase. But even excluding autos, manufacturing output was still up 0.9 percent.
The Weather Outside is Frightful
Over 50 percent of the lower-48 was blanketed in snow in November (including more than five feet in parts of Buffalo, NY). It was the largest snow-cover on record for the month of November. With wintry weather showing up in fall, it comes as little surprise that utilities output jumped 5.1 percent on the month.
What About Oil?
Oil prices ended November at roughly $66/barrel, but the average price for the month was still over $75/barrel (WTI crude). The much lower price environment for oil and other commodity prices will eventually cause equipment investment to slow in industries related to oil extraction, in our view. However, we have maintained that production would still hold up in the near term. Mining output fell in November, but oil was not to blame. Crude production was unchanged in November (in fact, it was up 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment). “Other” mining (coal, metal ore, other minerals) was down 0.5 percent.
Empire Index: A Warning Shot or Just a Misfire?
In a separate report, the New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State manufacturing index unexpectedly slipped to negative territory in December. With all the discussion in financial markets about the impact of lower oil prices, it may feel like this miss is a warning that the factory sector is retrenching. We are not convinced that is what the numbers are telling us. The big movers among the subcomponents sound more like a supply chain disruption than a sudden shift in attitudes because of oil. Unfilled orders were off 24.0 points, delivery times were off 14.6 points and inventories were down 11.5 points. What about prices? How is the input cost side of production shifting? After 10.6 in November, prices paid came in at 10.4 in December, so no significant change. Prices received on the other hand, went from 0.0 last month to 6.3 in December. Still, the miss here in December should not be discounted completely; we will watch other regional Fed survey data for December with greater-than-usual interest.IP_12152014IP_12152014

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