Construction spending stagnates in August as infrastructure vote remains in limbo

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The Monthly Construction Metals Index (MMI) fell for this month’s value as US construction spending was virtually unchanged from the previous month.

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Construction spending in the United States

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Construction spending in the United States in August reaches a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 1,584.1 billion, a minimal increase from the revised July estimate of $ 1,584 billion, the Census Bureau reported.

Meanwhile, the August rate rose 8.9% from August 2020.

In the first eight months of 2021, construction spending totaled $ 1,034.5 billion. The cumulative total marked a 7.0% year-over-year increase.

Private construction spending reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 1,242.2 billion, down 0.1% from July. Residential construction rose 0.4% to $ 786.6 billion. Non-residential construction fell 1.0% to $ 455.6 billion in August.

Public spending on construction reached a rate of $ 341.9 billion, up 0.5%. Construction of educational institutions rose 1.1% to $ 79.8 billion. Highway construction rose 1.6% to $ 98.3 billion.

ABI continues to grow

Meanwhile, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), published monthly by the American Institute of Architects, continued its strong growth.

The ABI for August was 55.6, down from 54.6 the month before. However, the design contract index fell to 56.6 from 58.0 the previous month.

“Despite some concerns about the continued impact of the Delta variant, most companies continue to report strong business terms,” the ABI report says. “Companies also reported that they continued to receive numerous inquiries about new projects and that the value of the contracts they signed for new design work continued to grow.”

By region, the West led the way with an ABI reading of 57.2. The Midwest (55.2), South (52.5) ​​and Northeast (51.7) also posted billings growth.

This month, the ABI survey asked architectural firms about their plans to return to the office. Of the responding companies, 65% indicated that they had completely reopened their offices. Additionally, 46% said all or most of their employees had returned to the office. Meanwhile, 19% said some of their employees had returned to work in the office.

Meanwhile, among businesses that have yet to reopen or have partially reopened, 66% said they plan to fully reopen their office at some point.

Construction jobs decline in a third of metropolitan areas

Elsewhere, citing Census Bureau data, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) reported construction jobs fell in a third of metropolitan areas in the United States from August 2020 to August 2021.

The DMCO spoke of the uncertainty surrounding the fate of infrastructure bills in Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed a vote scheduled for Thursday, September 30, before finally setting a deadline of October 31.

“As construction activity has rebounded from pandemic lows in many subways, the recovery is fragile,” Ken Simonson, chief economist at AGCA, said in a Sept. 29 statement. lead to cancellations and postponements of projects that reduce job gains. “

Construction employment during the period fell the most in New York City, where it fell 6%. Meanwhile, employment also fell 6% in Nassau County-Suffolk County (New York) and the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metropolitan area.

However, employment increased in 256 of 358 metropolitan areas. The San Diego-Carlsbad region created 8,900 jobs, an increase of 11%.

Real metal prices and trends

The price of Chinese rebar rose 11.5% month-over-month to $ 903 per metric tonne on October 1. Meanwhile, Chinese H-beam steel rose 2.4% to $ 867 per metric ton.

Shredded U.S. scrap fell 5.1% to $ 467 per short ton.

European commercial 1050 aluminum sheet jumped 27.3% to $ 4,724 per metric tonne.

Is your aluminum purchase large enough to have an impact on your income? See how others communicate this data to their leadership teams.


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