Primary indicators
Primary indicators
Materials costs changes
Materials costs changes
Construction costs - top markets
Construction costs - top markets
Construction labor indicators
Construction labor indicators
Construction backlog indicator
Construction backlog indicator
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Primary indicators

Throughout the first half of 2017 the construction industry has demonstrated stability in the face of adversity, with private construction investment leading the way. Amidst political and economic uncertainty and widespread fear of overbuilding, all indicators in the industry point towards continued sustainable growth.

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As spring construction work heated up, so did pricing – jumping 4.3 percent over the course of Q2 2017. Expect the new trade policy with China to have a potentially sizable impact on future steel prices over the next few quarters.

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Lumber prices have already seen a sizeable uptick in the first half of 2017, increasing by 7.9 percent nationally. Expect continued lumber price escalations to hit over the next two quarters.

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Cement prices have maintained a consistent increase over the last four quarters, coming in at an average of 4.3 percent boost every three months. The price increases closely mirror the strong demand we’re seeing in the construction industry as a whole.

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Materials costs changes

Through the first half of 2017 we saw the materials cost index increase by 1.8 percent as demand for materials grew and U.S. construction
spending picked up by 5.7 percent year-over-year. This uptick accounts for sizeable increases in steel, lumber and cement costs,
but minimal growth in other materials helped keep the index in line with historic averages.

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Source: Engineering News Record
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Construction costs: Top markets

While the national average construction cost index is 212.2, the top five markets average 248.12.
Click through these markets to see how their cost indexes compare and their quarter over quarter growth.
Units = Cost index
Source: R.S. Means
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True or false?

True.

Unemployment in the construction industry, currently sitting at 5.3%, is at a historic low, while hourly wages continue to grow, and outpace current inflation.

Incorrect.

It is true. Unemployment in the construction industry, currently sitting at 5.3%, is at a historic low, while hourly wages continue to grow, and outpace current inflation.

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Construction labor indicators

As of May 2017, the construction workforce increased by 2.9 percent year-over-year, achieving an eight year high – with wages 
increasing year-over-year by 2.4 percent to an average of $30.63 per hour. The supply of construction laborers still remains below demand, evident in the near historic low unemployment rate of 5.3 percent in May 2017.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Construction backlog indicator

The Construction backlog indicator (CBI) depicts how many months of work contractors currently have on the books—higher numbers show higher demand.

National construction backlog (CBI)

Region with the highest growth

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors
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All rights reserved. All information contained herein is from sources deemed reliable; however, no representation or warranty is made to the accuracy thereof.
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