News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Associated Builders and Contractors / April 13, 2015
Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded 0.8 percent in March, the largest monthly increase in more than two years, according to the April 14 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices have now expanded for two consecutive months after declining during the prior six; however input prices are down 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. March marks the fourth consecutive month year-over-year input prices have declined, the longest such streak since 2009. Crude petroleum prices fell 4 percent in March and have fallen in eight of the previous nine months.Read More
Associated Builders and Contractors / March 13, 2015
The largest monthly gain in petroleum prices in over three years caused construction materials prices to expand 0.4 percent in February, ending a six-month streak when prices failed to rise, according to the March 13 producer price index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-over-year basis, construction input prices fell 3.9 percent. Nonresidential construction input prices also rose 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and were down 4.9 percent on a yearly basis.
“While conventional wisdom suggests that oil and natural gas prices will eventually rise, the adjustment periodRead More
The Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Confidence Index is reflecting growing optimism in our industry in sales, profit margins and staffing levels. As you will note in the chart below, scores across all three areas are now at post-recession highs. In 2014, increased optimism has not translated into strong growth in our industry, but our expectation is that 2015 will be better. What do we see in these tea leaves that gives us confidence?
The growing optimism on profit margins is likely the best indicator that 2015 is shaping up to be even more positive than the past year. Why?Read More
Associated Builders and Contractors / March 18, 2014
Gains in the Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI) indicate that contractor confidence expanded as 2013 wound to a close, particularly with respect to near-term industry profit margins and staffing levels. The CCI measures construction prospects along three dimensions – revenues, profit margins and hiring. All three indices remained above the threshold value of 50, which indicates growth, and each is up on a year-over-year basis.
During last year’s second half:
- Sales expectations rose from 63 to 63.2
- Profit margin expectations surged
Associated Builders and Contractors / March 7, 2014
The U.S. nonresidential construction industry gained just 400 jobs in February, according to the March 7 employment report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The construction industry as a whole added only 15,000 jobs for the month, with the vast majority of new jobs coming from residential construction. The construction unemployment rate expanded to 12.8 percent in February from 12.3 percent in January (non-seasonally adjusted).
The underwhelming jobs number is particularly disappointing given the encouraging 26,600 jobs (revised) the segmentRead More