U.S. Construction Industry Fueling Declined 2.2% Year-Over-Year in
August; Down 2.1% versus Previous Month
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2012--
Express Corporation (NYSE: WXS), a leading global provider of
value-based business payment processing and information management
solutions, in collaboration with IHS (NYSE: IHS), the leading global
source of information and analytics, today released results of its
Wright Express Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI), which
indicated a decrease of 2.2% in August versus its level the previous
The Wright Express Construction FCI measures national fuel consumption
statistics for the construction industry, which provides an accurate and
up-to-date indication of construction activity in the United States.
“The results of the August 2012 Fuel Consumption Index reflect the
continued struggle for growth in the U.S. construction industry,” said
Rick Pomerleau, vice president, corporate development at Wright Express.
“While in recent months we saw somewhat consistent FCI growth
year-over-year and nearly flat growth in July, the decline in August
serves as a reminder that the economy has yet to stabilize.”
Wright Express worked with IHS to capture and analyze transaction data
from its closed loop network of more than 180,000 fuel and vehicle
maintenance locations, including over 90 percent of the domestic retail
fuel locations and 45,000 vehicle maintenance locations. With this data,
the Wright Express Construction FCI can be used to identify emerging
trends within the construction industry and the national economy.
The indicators were tested at monthly, quarterly, and annual
frequencies, with the greatest insights produced using the
year-over-year percent change of the monthly data. For August 2012, the
Wright Express Construction FCI reported that fuel consumption by U.S.
construction companies decreased by 2.2% versus August 2011 and also
declined by 2.1% versus the previous month.
The Wright Express Construction FCI, which is available monthly in
advance of the U.S. Census Bureau figures on construction spending, is
available at www.wrightexpress.com/fci.
Last month’s Wright Express Construction FCI corresponded with decreased
construction spending levels evident in most of the government’s
subsequent construction data releases. Construction spending excluding
improvements – a good measure of activity – decreased by 0.2% in July;
however, one positive segment was private residential construction,
which rose by 1.6%. August housing permit statistics mirrored the
declining Fuel Consumption Index by falling 1.0% in August to an annual
rate of 803,000. Housing starts did climb to their second highest level
since October 2008 with an increase of 2.3% in August. Total
construction put-in-place decreased by 0.9% in July.
According to the IHS analysis, the decline for the Wright Express
Construction FCI in August coincides with difficulties for the U.S.
construction industry, but recent housing statistics suggest modest
improvement. Existing home sales jumped 7.8% in August, which is the
best figure since May 2010. Although there were some larger increases in
2009 and 2010, those were boosted by tax credits, while this month’s
increase was driven by economic fundamentals including an improving
economy, low interest rates, and a drop in the cancellation rate.
Normal economic conditions are still at least a couple of years away
even though the housing market is expected to see some improvement this
year. The rise of home prices in recent months is due to a rising demand
by investors, low interest rates, and a drop in the proportion of
distressed sales. Any gain in prices is good news because the price
gains reduce the number of homeowners with “underwater” mortgages. The
current economic outlook, however, is for a modest recovery that lasts
three to four years, not the sharp upswing that characterizes most
The Wright Express Construction FCI for August 2012 is available at www.wrightexpress.com/fci.
About Wright Express
Wright Express is a leading provider of value-based, business payment
processing and information management solutions. The Company’s fleet,
corporate and prepaid payment solutions provide its more than 350,000
customers with unparalleled security and control across a wide spectrum
of business sectors. The Company’s operations include Wright Express
Financial Services, Pacific Pride, rapid! PayCard, Wright Express
Prepaid Cards Australia, Wright Express Fuel Cards Australia and
CorporatePay Limited, England, as well as a majority equity position in
UNIK S.A, Brazil. Wright Express and its subsidiaries employ more than
900 associates. For more information about Wright Express, please visit wrightexpress.com.
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Source: Wright Express Corporation
Wright Express Corporation
Jessica Roy, 207-523-6763