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Weekly Roundup: US construction May spending, drop in US-Canada lumber export, & more

Weekly Roundup: US construction May spending, drop in US-Canada lumber export, & more

July 8, 2019

Construction Insider is a weekly roundup of the latest news and insights in construction.

US construction spending drops in May

 An unexpected drop in US construction spending was observed in May coinciding with a two-year low dip in private construction investment.

  • Construction spending in May decreased to 0.8%, the steepest drop since November of last year.
  • This contradicts an earlier prediction by economists that construction spending would increase by 0.1% in May.
  • Private projects spending has dipped to 0.7% in May, its lowest value since November 2017. A 1% drop was also observed in the prior month.
  • Private residential outlays have been sliding on a negative slope for five straight months.

US-Canada lumber export value dips to 22.8% in January-May

The value for lumber exports from US to Canada has dropped 22.8% to 1.9 billion between January and May this year, according to data from USDA. Lesprom

  • Lumber export value has decreased but only a 0.58% decline was observed in year-over-year lumber export data.
  • Average price for lumber from Canada also decreased 22.4%  to $143 per cubic meter.
  • Lumber imports declined to 12.8 million by 0.19%, and lumber import value also dipped 18% and is now pegged at $2.5 billion.

21,000 construction jobs added in June

A net value of 21,000 jobs in the construction sector was added in June, based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). FCP

  • A total of 224,000 jobs were opened on a year-over-year basis, corresponding to an overall 3.1% employment increase.
  • The nonresidential sector opened 14,900 net jobs in June and around 146,000 jobs in the last 12 months.
  • Construction unemployment rate was recorded to be 4% in June, a 0.7% decrease from 12 months ago.
  • “Finding and retaining skilled workers remains a primary issue, implying that compensation growth will continue to increase,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu.