Market Watch: Track Construction’s Economic Health - Sachse Construction
Topics: Construction, Headlines, Industry News

Market Watch: Track Construction’s Economic Health

Industry experts, economists and construction executives rely on a long list of economic indicators to help them forecast the future of the business. But predicting what’s on the horizon is tricky, said Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu, because construction activity generally lags behind other sectors of the economy.

“It is among the last segments to enter a downturn and among the last to begin to recover,” he told Construction Dive.

That makes tracking the health of related sectors and the economy overall important. Below, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the national indicators that are most cited by those in the construction industry, along with links to keep tabs on each. They include:

  • Federal government reports
  • Association reports
  • Indexes
  • Residential construction reports
  • Stocks to watch

Federal Government Reports

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Gross Domestic Product
Compiled quarterly, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the most influential measures that affect U.S. financial markets, demonstrating the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced in the U.S. in a specific time period. As a broad measure of overall domestic production, it functions as a comprehensive scorecard of the country’s economic health.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment, Unemployment, and Openings, Hires, and Separations for Construction

BLS provides monthly information relating to employment and unemployment in construction. Its tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, job openings and labor turnover, union membership and representation, gross job gains and losses, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for Construction

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program produces data on job openings, hires, and separations.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Construction Input Prices

BLS’s Construction Input Prices list is based on the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output.

U.S. Federal Reserve System
Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices
This quarterly survey of up to 80 large domestic banks and 24 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks looks at changes in the standards and terms of the banks’ lending and the state of business and household demand for loans.

Federal Reserve System
Beige Book

Commonly known as the Beige Book, the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District is published eight times a year. It includes information from each of the country’s Federal Reserve Banks about current economic conditions in each district.

U.S. Census Bureau
Value of Construction Put in Place

This survey provides estimates of the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S. each month on new private residential and non-residential construction, public construction, and improvements to existing buildings and infrastucture. The report includes the cost of labor, materials, architectural and engineering work, overhead costs, interest and taxes paid during construction and contractor’s profits.

Recommended Articles