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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
Click on image to view more information.Construction ends 2015 with job gains; two market trackers say projects are delayedEditor’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 292,000 in December, seasonally adjusted, and by 2,650,000 (1.9%) for the year, while the unemployment rate held steady at a 7-1/2 year low of 5.0%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Monday. Construction employment rose by 45,000 for the month (to 6,538,000) and by 263,000 (4.2%) over 12 months.   
January 13, 2016
Click on image to view more information.Contractors show optimism about most segments in AGC poll; November spending dipsEditor’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.Contractors are optimistic, on balance, about the outlook for nonresidential and multifamily construction, based on the 1,580 responses to a survey that AGC released Wednesday. About 44% expect the available dollar volume of projects they compete for in 2016 to be higher than in 2015, while 9% expect the volume to be lower, for a net positive reading of 34%. Among 13 market segments, the net was highest for retail, warehouse and lodging construction, 21%; followed by hospital and private office, 19% each; multifamily, 14%; higher education, 13%; K-12 school and public building, 12% each. There was less optimism about water/sewer, 8%; manufacturing, 7%; highway, 6%; other transportation, 3%; and power, 1%. Respondents registered a 1% net negative reading regarding the outlook for federal construction. However, the survey was completed before the recent enactment of federal tax bills with favorable terms for direct federal projects, highway and transit funds, and tax-subsidized wind and solar power construction.  
January 07, 2016
Click on image to view more information.Spending, tax bills augur well for construction; Dodge starts slip in NovemberEditor’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.Last Friday, President Obama signed legislation that sets spending levels and limitations for federal agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2016, ending next September, and that extends and amends a variety of tax provisions. An AGC analysis of direct federal spending by agency shows "an increase of approximately $8 billion" from FY 2015 for accounts that cover construction. The act "fully funds the authorized levels contained in the recently-enacted FAST Act [authorizing highway, transit and Amtrak programs], resulting in a 5.5% increase in highway funding and a 10% increase in transit funding over FY 2015 levels."   
December 28, 2015
Click on image to view more information.Construction employment rises from year ago in 44 states, D.C.; housing shows gainsEditor’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.Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 44 states and the District of Columbia from November 2014 to November 2015 and declined in six states, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today showed. The number of places with year-over-year (y/y) gains was the most since February. The top three states for jobs added were again California (41,000 jobs, 5.9%), New York (30,500, 8.9%) and Florida (29,300, 7.2%).   
December 21, 2015
Click on image to view more information.November PPIs rise for new buildings, some subcontractors, but fall for many inputsEditor’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 November was unchanged from October on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis (up 0.3%, seasonally adjusted) and declined 1.1% year-over-year (y/y), 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 0.3% for the month and increased 2.1% y/y. 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—climbed 2.0% since November 2014. The 12-month increases ranged from 1.0% for healthcare construction to 1.9% for industrial buildings, 2.2% for schools and warehouses, and 2.3% for offices.   
December 15, 2015
Click on image to view more information.Construction employment in November, spending in October climb brisklyEditor’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 211,000 in November, seasonally adjusted, and by 2,637,000 (1.9%) year-over-year (y/y), while the unemployment rate held steady at a 7-1/2 year low of 5.0%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Construction employment rose by 46,000 for the month (to 6,490,000) and by 259,000 (4.2%) over 12 months. The employment level was the highest since January 2009. The number of unemployed jobseekers who last worked in construction decreased from 629,000 in November 2014 to 536,000 in November 2015, the lowest November total since 2000.   
December 08, 2015
Click on image to view more information.Value of starts jumps in October, Dodge says; costs edge up in November, IHS 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 October increased 13% from September's level at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on November 20, based on data it collected. "The increase follows the lackluster performance for construction starts during August and September, when activity fell to the lowest levels reported so far in 2015. Much of October's gain for total construction was due to a sharp [32%] rebound by nonresidential building, with additional support coming from a moderate [9%] upturn for housing as the result of further strengthening by multifamily housing...The nonbuilding construction sector (public works and electric utilities/gas plants) settled back [-3%] in October, reflecting a decreased amount of power plant projects. During the first 10 months of 2015, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were...up 10% from the same period a year ago. Leaving out the volatile electric utility and gas plant category, which was boosted in early 2015 by the start of several massive liquefied natural gas terminals, total construction starts during the first 10 months of 2015 would be up 4% relative to last year," with nonbuilding up 2%, residential building up 15% and nonresidential building down 6%.  
December 01, 2015