Reed Construction Data announced that the value of nonresidential construction starts in its database for January-October 2006 totaled 8.6% higher than in the first 10 months of 2005. Allowing for construction cost inflation, the real volume of new starts has increased about 2% so far in 2006 compared to the same period in 2005, Reed Chief Economist Jim Haughey estimated.
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.