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Wright Express Releases Monthly Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI) Results
U.S. Construction Industry Fueling Up 1.4% Year-Over-Year in July; Up 0.2% versus Previous Month
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 results of the
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
The Wright Express Construction FCI, which is available monthly in advance of the
Last month's Wright Express Construction FCI diverged from the increased construction spending levels evident in most of the government's subsequent construction data releases. Construction spending excluding improvements - a good measure of activity - expanded by 0.7% in June. Private residential construction increased by 3.1%, again reflecting the year's uptick in single-family housing starts. The decrease in June was reflected in housing permits, which decreased 3.7% in June to an annual rate of 755,000 due to a sharp drop in multi-family permits in the South. Total construction put-in-place increased by 0.4% in June.
According to the IHS analysis, the continued flat growth for the Wright Express Construction FCI in July, and with the additional loss in June, indicates a delayed recovery for the construction industry. New home sales fell 8.4% in June; however, the loss should not be considered significant due to an anomalous sales plunge in the Northeast. Despite the uncharacteristic decrease in June, the housing market remains on track for recovery with the three-month average showing new home sales gradually increasing.
The key obstacle to the housing recovery continues to be tight credit conditions, which is why sales to non-investors have been only inching up in recent months, despite low mortgage rates and plenty of affordable homes (in most markets). The homeowner vacancy rate measuring the proportion of homes that are vacant and for sale slipped 2.1% in the second quarter of 2012, which is still too high from the "normal" range of 1.6% - 1.7%. Home prices have been rising slowly in recent months and any gain in prices is good news because the price gains reduce the number of homeowners with "underwater" mortgages.
The Wright Express Construction FCI for
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News media contact:
Wright Express Corporation
Jessica Roy, 207-523-6763