Source: Economics Group of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Construction Climbs Despite Challenging Macroeconomic Backdrop
Total construction spending advanced 1.2% during April. The monthly gain translates to a 7.2% annual increase. Total outlays have now risen for three consecutive months. While the threat of a recession looms large, the construction industry appears to be enjoying more favorable supply-side conditions at present. Construction supply chains are still not functioning as they were prior to the pandemic, with truck drivers and key materials like windows and power transformers still difficult to come by. That noted, building material price inflation has moderated considerably, which is a welcome relief from the rapid-run up over the past several years. The construction labor market has also loosened up a bit. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey released by the BLS yesterday revealed that the count of job openings in the construction industry rose to 383K in April alongside an overall uptick in total job openings. Despite rising on a monthly basis, construction job openings are down from the 488K peak registered in December 2022. The quits rate also increased slightly in April, which is more-or-less back to the average rate experienced before the pandemic. While still tight, the construction labor market appears to be moving into better balance with demand cooling and fewer construction workers seeking opportunities elsewhere. READ FULL ARTICLE >>