Volume 48, Issue 2- February 2013


Dodge Index Continues to Increase

The Dodge Momentum Index rose 3.2 percent in December, according to the latest report from McGraw-Hill Construction. The December gain brought the index to 94.9 (2000=100), up from November’s revised 91.9. After displaying an upward trend during the first seven months of 2012, the index settled back from August through October, and then stabilized in November.

The December rebound brings the index close to the 95.4 reached in July, which was the highest reading reported during 2012.

Flat Glass Prices Down Slightly
Flat glass prices decreased slightly—just 0.7 percent—from November to December, according to the Producer Price Index Report from the U.S. Labor Department. The latest report follows a 0.1-percent drop from October to November, no changes from September to October and a 0.2-percent increase from August to September.

While flat glass prices dropped, the cost of construction materials rose .3 percent from November to December, continuing an upward slide. The price of construction materials had risen 0.1 percent from October to November and September to October, and 0.3 percent from August to September.

The import price for glass and glassware dropped 0.2 percent from November to December, following a 0.2-percent rise from October to November, according to the December Import and Export Price Indexes. The export price for the same remained stable with no changes from November to December, following a 0.1-percent increase from October to November. Import/Export Price Changes for Glass November to December 2012 Imports -0.2 percent Exports 0.0 percent Source: U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics

ABI Sees Positive Conditions for all Sectors
Billings at architecture firms across the country are continuing to increase. The American Institute of Architects reported the November Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score was 53.2, up from the mark of 52.8 in October. The new projects inquiry index was 59.6, also up slightly from the 59.4 mark the previous month. Sector index breakdown included:
• Multi-family residential: 55.9;
• Mixed practice: 53.9;
• Commercial/industrial: 52.0; and
• Institutional: 50.5 ABI Regional Averages

Construction Industry Gets Back to Work
Despite an overall increase in industry unemployment, the U.S. construction industry gained 30,000 jobs in December, according to U.S. Labor Department. Year over year, construction employment has risen by 18,000 jobs, or 0.3 percent. The construction unemployment rate for December was 13.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted)—up from 12.2 percent from November, but down from 16 percent the same time last year, according to ABC.

The Breakdown
Nonresidential building construction:
Up 7,000 jobs in December;
12,200 jobs added last year.

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors:
Up 5,600 jobs in December;
Down 25,000 jobs compared to one year ago.

Residential building construction:
Up 5,800 jobs in December;
Down 6,600 jobs since last year.

Residential specialty trade construction:
Up 12,300 jobs in December;
Up 36,400 jobs since last year.

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