November 28, 2022

Industry News Round-Up for October

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Company
Industry Trends

Industry New Roundup

 

This month:

  • Recession for Some, Boom For Others?
  • Railroad Deal in Danger of Derailing Growth
  • Economic Overview
  • Producer Prices for Construction
  • Trend Watch: Do Recessions Cause Increases in Theft?

 

Highlights

 

Recession for Some, Boom For Others?

 

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real GDP was up 2.6% in the third quarter of 2022, buoyed by increases in exports, consumer spending and government spending in areas such as infrastructure. Additionally, consumer spending rose in September, according to BEA (October data will be released in December because of the holiday). Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren indicated a recession is likely. And while independent construction industry analyst Ed Zarenski forecasts non-residential starts to be up 50%, Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network, forecasts overall starts remaining flat.

 

Total construction starts jump 8% following 2-month decline (ConstructionDive)

Manufacturers and Research Groups Discuss Mixed Signals of Trucking Industry, Possible Recession (ForConstructionPros)

Construction resilient as economy slips toward recession (Construction Enquirer) 

 

Railroad Deal in Danger of Derailing Growth

 

A railway labor deal brokered by the Biden administration in September to avert a shutdown is now facing a major setback as the largest freight rail union, SMART Transportation Division, narrowly became the fourth union to reject the deal. Should the two sides fail to reach a deal by Dec. 8, a freight rail lockout or strike is possible. As noted in a report published prior to the original September deal, a freight rail shutdown could create delays of raw materials to construction projects, souring the positive forecast for non-residential starts.

 

The economic impact of a railroad shutdown (Association of American Railroads)

Renewed threat of rail strike has supply chain managers ramping up contingency plans (CNBC)

Economic Overview

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 261,000 in October, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%. The report noted job gains in health care, professional and technical services and manufacturing. Employment in the construction sector remained almost flat. At 4.1%, the unemployment rate in the construction industry is now above the overall employment rate, up slightly from 4% in September 2021. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

 

 

Overview of Selected Materials Costs (October 2022, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics PPI)

 

 

 

Trend Watch

 

Does Inflation Cause Increases in Theft?

With all of the discussion about inflation and the likelihood of a recession during 2023, it is no wonder businesses are focused on reducing operational losses. But for construction equipment operators and contractors, there is another risk. According to some experts, theft and burglary can rise during times of high inflation. As a result, there may be an increased risk of equipment and materials theft on the horizon. EquipmentShare’s T3 platform can assist you by keeping an eye on your jobsite and help you recover pricey stolen assets like tool trailers and heavy equipment. 

More theft, burglaries and even murders are the unexpected side-effects of rising prices (BusinessInsider)

T3 Jobsite and Dash Cams (EquipmentShare)

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