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."
Real (net of inflation) gross domestic product-the output of all goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S.-increased at a 3.4% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced today.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in June, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. The unemployment rate dipped to 5% for the first time since September 2001.
Housing sales stayed at near-record levels in May, with higher median prices (price above which half the sales occurred) and continuing low inventories of unsold houses, a combination that implies further construction in the near term.
· A strong construction market pushed up consumption by 7% in 2004, while domestic production increased only 2%. It has been difficult to get zoning and environmental permits to expand production in the U.S.