[VIDEO] Multifamily Sinks US Housing Starts as Production Shifts to Single-family

Total US housing starts fell 2.6% in January with multifamily starts responsible for the entire drop; plus more construction industry news on the March 2, 2017, edition of Construction News Tracker

Construction News Tracker is preesented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.

Construction materials prices have shown an uptick for the second consecutive month rising 1% in January, according to the latest anaylsis by Associated Builders and Contractors. Year-over-year material prices rose 3.8% for the fastest rise since 2012.  Energy prices are playing a key role in this analysis with natural gas up 23.6% for the month. An astonishingly booost of 81.8% year over year, ABC Economist Anirban Basu says globally theres a gradual solidification in demand for materials with China leading the way.

AGC’s analysis of construction materials and prices indicates they are rising faster than that of completed buildings. Chief Economist Ken Simonson say his look at federal producer price data says much of the increase of 3.1% year to year can be attributed to restrictions on use of imported materials which is driving up the cost of infrastructure and building projects. The Buy American first campaign is not helping keep costs down. Simonson points out the rise in diesel fuel prices alone of nearly 35%, with steel up 11.4% and lumber costs rising 3.7%, also contribute.

Total U.S. housing starts fell 2.6% in January, but the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.246 thousand units is more than 10% above that recorded in January 2016. Multifamily starts were responsible for the entire drop falling nearly 8% while single family starts rose almost 2% to an 823,000 unit annual rate. Wells Fargo's economics group calls the January housing starts drop largely in line with expectations and continues to forecast oveerall starts rising 6.3% in 2017 to a 1.24 million unit pace/ Single family starts are expected to rise 10% as miltifamily production stabilizes.

A recent survey of small and medium sized enterprises indicates a growing optimism over future business performance, according to American Express Global SME Pulse. More than two-thirds of U.S. SME's expect revenue growth of at least 4% in the next year while 41% of the respondents see future growth in the neighborhood of 8% per annum — a similar report of revenue growth follows the lead.

Seven billion dollars is the amount Intel will spend to complete a chip factory in Arizona. The world's largest computer chip maker made the announcement recently following a meeting with President Trump during which the company pronounced new regulatory and tax policy changes were significant enough to proceed. An estimated 3,000 jobs will accompany the Chandler, AZ, compex joining two other semiconducter plants already operating there.

[VIDEO] Intel Announces $7 Billion Investment in Arizona

The headline reads 56,000 American bridges are structurally deficient. It’s the latest bridge report from ARTBA, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Broken down, the list includes 1,900 on the U.S. Interstate highway system alone — 41% over 40 years old without any major reconstruction work. Ten states lead the nation with the most deficient crossings for a total of 28,852:

  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania

The ARTBA list is an analysis of the 2016 U.S. DOT national bridge inventory, and points out the serious nature of our crumbling network of national infrastructure.

National Pavement Expo 2017 is now in the history books with a successful convention recently concluded at Nashville. Some 4,000 pavement contractors and their respresentatives attended the event last month — a 26% jump from 2016 and 100% increase from 2014 — to view new ideas, techniques and equipment displayed and tested by nearly 200 exhibitors. Forty-six percent of the those attending also participated in educational conference sessions. NPE hosted by AC Business Media has become a growing success for the pavement and asphalt industry as it expands its footprint nationwide. Kudos to those AC folks who helped make the NPE another rousing success.

AC Business Media Announces New Ownership for National Pavement Expo

As part of CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 attendees willl have a chance to engage in an all new Tech Experience at this year’s convention beginning March 7th in Las Vegas. From solar powered roadways to data visualization and interactivity, including the first ever 3D printed excavator,,drones, robotics and much much more, can be found at the Tech Experience area of the show.

A Whole New Technology Experience at CONEXPO-CON/AGG

We hope you're planning to attend CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 March 7-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Register now.

In closing, life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.

This is Construction News Tracker looking over the industry that makes the world a better place, presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.

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