Tag Archives: construction

Construction and Manufacturing Surprise to Upside

Construction spending jumped 1.8% in July from June, much more than most expected. Gains were greater in the public sector than in the private sector, as highway and street construction picked up to some extent in response to an unusual volume of repairs that needed to be completed in response to last year’s harsh winter. [...]

Inflation up, Housing down

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in May, the largest increase since early 2013. The rise in food prices on the heels of a harsh winter, disruptions to the planting season and drought in the West pushed up the price of food at home by 0.7%, which was no surprise to anyone shopping at [...]

Manufacturing still a Bright Spot

Industrial production rebounded 0.6% in May, after slipping a smaller-than-initially reported 0.3% in April. Gains were driven by a pickup in the production of vehicles and other durables, including business equipment. That supports our view that spending on big ticket items such as vehicles, furniture, appliances and investment in new equipment will drive growth as [...]

Construction Spending Partially Disappoints in April

Construction spending in April rose by 0.2%, a slightly disappointing figure that reflects a standstill in private spending and some modest progress in public construction expenditures. Expectations counted on seasonal improvements and a return to warmer temperatures for a more robust turnaround in activity, which in fact failed to materialize

New Home Sales Rise

New home sales rose between March and April and were revised up for the month of March. This is a bit of welcome news, given the tepid sales we saw in the existing home sales market yesterday. Gains were driven almost entirely by a snapback in the South, which was hit hard by winter storms [...]

Housing Starts Catch up in April

Housing starts jumped back above the million-unit mark in April, providing a sliver of sunlight through what has been an otherwise cloudy week for economic data.  Gains were concentrated in multifamily starts; that reflects the lean toward rentals over single-family units.

Construction Bounce-back Less Than Desired

Construction spending rebounded a less-than-desired 0.2% in March after contracting in February.  I know we are all sick of hearing about the weather, but it remained a problem in March (and continues to annoy me today in Chicago). Snow in the South was particularly unusual for the month and further disrupted construction in places it [...]

Housing Starts Rebound Slowly

Housing starts rose to a 946,000-unit pace in March, after being revised up slightly for the month of February. With revisions, starts are running close to expectations although they should be stronger given the lack of inventories on the market. That said, it was encouraging to see the gain in starts concentrated in the single-family [...]

Construction Activity Remained Weak in February

Construction spending rose 0.1% in February, after being revised down slightly for the month of January. Losses in single-family construction, most likely due to unusually harsh winter weather, offset gains in multifamily construction. Inventories of new single-family homes remain extremely tight. Commercial construction also showed some pockets of weakness, most notably in office construction for [...]

New Home Sales Slacken in February

New single-family home sales dropped 3.3% in February to a 440,000-unit annualized rate, the slowest monthly pace since September 2013. Moreover, sales for the month of January were revised lower. More of the weakness in the new home market can be attributed to unusually harsh winter weather; builders in the worst-affected areas were literally sidelined,