Mixed impacts from Hurricane Katrina on supplies of construction inputs are continuing to appear. AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr on Friday wrote to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to urge an immediate suspension of the anti-dumping duty on Mexican cement to ease shortages worsened by the closure of ports that accounted for 12% of U.S. imports in the first half of 2005.
The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods, rose 0.6% in August, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today, noting that prices were collected before Hurricane Katrina struck.
Two favorable indicators for near-term construction activity came out yesterday and today. Today, Kermit Baker, Chief Economist for the American Institute of Architects, wrote, “firms reported strong gains nationally last month as the nonresidential construction expansion continued to pick up steam."