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First Look - November 2015


TOP NEWS
ConExpo Latin America Has Strong Debut

More than 32,000 people attended ConExpo Latin America, walking through 40,000 sq. meters of exhibits from 300 manufacturers; and taking advantage of educational opportunities such as Rock Products’ aggregates seminar.

House Committee Approves Transportation Bill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763), a bipartisan, six-year surface transportation bill to reauthorize and reform federal highway, transit and highway safety programs.

Geneva Rock Products Makes Acquisition

Geneva Rock Products Inc. purchased the assets of Wilkinson Construction Co. Inc., a civil construction entity specializing in aggregate production, road construction and pavement maintenance.


MSHA WATCH

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that its summary of U.S. mining deaths from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2015, shows seven fatalities occurred in industry accidents. In the first nine months of 2015, 25 fatalities occurred, eight fewer than in the same period in 2014. “These deaths remind us why we must continue our vigilance and ensure effective safety and health programs are at work throughout the industry,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “The hard-working men and women of the mining industry deserve no less.” In metal and nonmetal mining, 23 miners died in FY 2015, six fewer than during the previous fiscal year.


USGS STATS 

The estimated U.S. output of construction sand and gravel produced and shipped for consumption in the second quarter of 2015 was 247 Mt, a very slight increase compared with that of the second quarter of 2014. The estimated production for consumption in the first six months of 2015 was 405 Mt, an increase of 4 percent compared with that of the same period of 2014, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


ECONOMIC INDICATORS
  • The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during August 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,086.2 billion, 0.7 percent (±1.5) above the revised July estimate of $1,079.1 billion. The August figure is 13.7 percent (±2.1) above the August 2014 estimate of $955.0 billion.
  • The value of new construction starts in September dropped 5 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $523.7 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Decreased activity was reported for both nonresidential building and housing, while the nonbuilding construction sector managed a partial rebound after its August decline. Highway and bridge construction rose 1 percent.
  • Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 11.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000 units in September, according to newly released data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

ENERGY

WTI crude oil futures price: 10/27/2015: $43.20/bbl, down $2.35 from week earlier; down $37.80 from year earlier.
Natural gas futures price: 10/27/2015: $2.092/mmBtu, down $0.384 from week earlier; down $1.469 from year earlier.
Retail gas price: 10/26/2015: $2.228/gal., down $0.049 from week earlier; down $0.828 from year earlier.
Retail diesel price: 10/26/2015: $2.498/gal., down $0.033 from week earlier; down $1.137 from year earlier.
Weekly coal production: 10/17/2015: 16.614 million tons, down 0.481 million tons from week earlier; down 2.302 million tons from year earlier.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration