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PPIs for construction inputs fall in February but steel vendors post imminent price hikesEditor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in February, not seasonally adjusted, was unchanged from January and year-over-year (y/y) from February 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Tuesday. AGC posted tables and an explanation focusing on construction prices and costs. Final demand includes goods, services and five types of nonresidential buildings that BLS says make up 34% of total construction. The PPI for final demand construction, not seasonally adjusted, decreased 0.1% for the month and increased 1.0% y/y. The PPI for new nonresidential building construction—a measure of the price that contractors say they would charge to build a fixed set of five categories of buildings—rose 1.0% y/y. Changes ranged from -0.1% y/y for healthcare construction to 1.0% for industrial buildings, 1.1% for offices, and 1.4% for warehouses and schools. PPIs for new, repair and maintenance work on nonresidential buildings fell 2.1% y/y for plumbing contractors and rose 1.2% for roofing contractors, 3.5% for concrete contractors and 5.4% for electrical contractors. The index for inputs to construction—excluding capital investment, labor and imports—comprises a mix of 59% goods (including 5% for energy) and 41% services (including trade services, 26%; transportation and warehousing, 4%; and other services, 10%).   
March 21, 2016
Manpower finds hiring plans are stable; market appears hot for renewables, data centersEditor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry."Hiring plans remain relatively stable" for April-June 2016, after adjusting for seasonal variation, compared to January-March, "and employers report no change compared to one year ago at this time," ManpowerGroup reported on Tuesday in releasing its latest quarterly survey of 11,000 U.S. employers. Employers in all 13 industry sectors included in the survey have a positive outlook for the second quarter. "When the industry sector data is compared quarter over quarter,...hiring activity is expected to remain relatively stable nationwide" in construction and 10 of the 12 other sectors.   
March 15, 2016
Construction employment in February, spending in January climb to seven-year highsEditor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Nonfarm payroll employment in February increased by 242,000, seasonally adjusted, from January and by 2,672,000 (1.9%) over 12 months, and the unemployment rate stayed at 4.9%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported last week. Construction employment rose by 19,000 for the month (to 6,631,000) and by 253,000 (4.0%) year-over-year (y/y). Industry employment reached the highest level since December 2008. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) increased by 15,000 for the month and 155,100 (6.4%) y/y.   
March 08, 2016
Starts show mixed pattern in January, Dodge says; office campuses return, CoStar findsEditor’s note: Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.The value of new construction starts in January increased 2% from December's level at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on February 19, based on data it collected. "The gain for total construction relative to December reflected moderate growth [5%] for housing. At the same time, nonresidential building retreated slightly [–1%] in January, as increases for commercial building and manufacturing plant construction were offset by diminished activity for institutional building. The nonbuilding construction sector also retreated slightly [-2%] in January, as modest improvement for public works was offset by a downturn for the electric utilities/gas plant category. On an unadjusted basis, total construction starts in January were...down 14% from the same month a year ago, which featured the start of two massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal projects in Texas.   
February 29, 2016
Click on image to view more information.PPIs for new construction rise more slowly in January; ABI, housing starts level offEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in January increased 0.3% from December, not seasonally adjusted (0.1%, seasonally adjusted) but fell 0.2% year-over-year (y/y) from January 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Wednesday. AGC posted tables and an explanation focusing on construction prices and costs. Final demand includes goods, services and five types of nonresidential buildings that BLS says make up 34% of total construction. The PPI for final demand construction, not seasonally adjusted, decreased 0.3% for the month and increased 1.2% y/y, down from a 1.8% rise in 2015. The overall PPI for new nonresidential building construction—a measure of the price that contractors say they would charge to build a fixed set of five categories of buildings—rose 1.1% y/y.   
February 22, 2016
Click on image to view more information.Construction employment rises, but unevenly, in January; metro job gains are spottyEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.The value of nonresidential construction starts, not seasonally adjusted, increased 13% from January 2015 to January 2016, CMD reported on February 11, based on data it collected. Building starts climbed 8.5%, with institutional starts up 2.6%, commercial up 13% and the small industrial segment up 10%. Heavy engineering starts jumped 20%, with the largest segment, road/highway, jumping 39%.The Federal Highway Administration's National Highway Construction Cost Index, a measure of prices paid by state transportation departments for all roadway construction contracts, decreased 2.4% in September 2015 from June and 1.7% from September 2014.   
February 17, 2016
Click on image to view more information.Construction employment rises, but unevenly, in January; metro job gains are spottyEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000, seasonally adjusted, and by 2,665,000 (1.9%) for the year, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. Construction employment rose by 18,000 for the month (to 6,615,000) and by 264,000 (4.2%) year-over-year (y/y). Industry employment reached the highest level since December 2008. Residential construction employment (residential building and specialty trade contractors) increased by 20,100 for the month and 149,500 (6.2%) y/y. Nonresidential employment (nonresidential building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) fell by 2,300 for the month and rose 2.9% y/y. The disparity may reflect the ongoing rise in residential spending and downturn in nonresidential spending in the last half of 2015 that the Census Bureau reported on Monday.   
February 09, 2016
Click on image to view more information.Construction spending inches up in December; pay accelerates; 44 states, D.C. add jobsEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.Construction spending in December totaled $1.117 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, 0.1% above the downwardly revised November rate and 8.2% higher than a year before, the Census Bureau reported on Monday. However, all of the growth for the year occurred in the first seven months. The December total was just 0.2% higher than in July. The full-year total, $1.097 trillion, was the highest annual level since 2007 before adjusting for inflation but was still 5.5% short of the 2006 record. Spending patterns diverged widely by segment and time period. Private residential spending increased by 0.9% for the month and 8.1% year-over-year (y/y). In contrast, private nonresidential spending slumped 2.1% for the month to a level lower than in May, although it was still up 12% y/y. Public construction increased 1.9% and 3.9%, respectively. New multifamily construction jumped 2.7% and 12%; new single-family construction gained 1.0% and 8.7%; and residential improvements rose 0.1% and 5.8%. Most private nonresidential segments decreased for the month but rose y/y.   
February 04, 2016
Click on image to view more information.Dodge starts, ABI rebound in December; housing starts slip; property tax receipts riseEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.The value of new construction starts in December increased 4% from November's level at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Thursday, based on data it collected. "December showed moderate increases for each of the three main construction sectors—nonresidential building [3%], residential building [6%], and nonbuilding construction (public works and electric utilities) [3%]. For 2015 as a whole, total construction starts climbed 8%," with nonresidential building down 8%, residential building up 14% and nonbuilding construction up 23%. "'A strong first half of 2015 was followed by a 20% loss of momentum in the third quarter and then a slight 1% rebound in the fourth quarter, as the expansion began to show that it was getting back on track,'" said Chief Economist Robert Murray.   
January 28, 2016
Click on image to view more information.Input PPIs plunge in 2015; completed structure and subcontractor indexes rise diverselyEditor’s note:  Construction Citizen is proud to partner with AGC America to bring you AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson's Data DIGest. Check back each week to get Ken's expert analysis of what's happening in our industry.The producer price index (PPI) for final demand in December decreased 0.4% from November on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis (-0.2%, seasonally adjusted) and 1.0% from December 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. AGC posted tables and an explanation focusing on construction prices and costs. Final demand includes goods, services and five types of nonresidential buildings that BLS says make up 34% of total construction. The PPI for final demand construction, not seasonally adjusted, decreased 0.1% for the month and increased 1.8% for the year, following increases of 2.2% in 2014 and 3.2% in 2013.   
January 20, 2016