FIRST LOOK - MAY 2019


TOP NEWS

Granite Voted Most Ethical

Granite Construction Inc. has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Record-Breaking bauma

With more than 620,000 visitors from more than 200 countries, bauma 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment, generated the best results in the exhibition’s 65-year history.

Chaney Acquires PCS

Chaney Enterprises, a ready-mixed concrete, aggregates, custom blends, and related construction supplies provider, acquired PCS Concrete, a concrete supply business based in Annapolis Junction, Md. Chaney Enterprises acquired all five of PCS Concrete’s operational facilities, and all 40 PCS employees will join Chaney and continue to work in their roles.


MSHA WATCH

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced the availability of up to $400,000 in funding through its Brookwood-Sago grant program to support education and training to help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around the nation’s mines. Brookwood-Sago grants focus on powered haulage safety (such as reducing vehicle-on-vehicle collisions, increasing seat belt use, and improving belt conveyor safety), emergency prevention and preparedness, examinations of working places at metal and nonmetal mines, or other programs to prevent unsafe conditions in and around mines.


USGS STATS

An estimated 599 Mt of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 5% compared with that of the same period of 2017, according to Jason Willett, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) crushed stone commodity specialist. “The estimated annual output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2018 was 2.37 billion metric tons, an increase of 5% compared with that of 2017,” Willett said.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction spending during February 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,320.3 billion, 1.0% (±0.8%) above the revised January estimate of $1,307.3 billion. The February figure is 1.1% (±1.5%) above the February 2018 estimate of $1,305.5 billion. 

The Dodge Momentum Index increased 0.5% in March to 145.5 (2000=100) from the revised February reading of 144.8. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

New construction starts in March advanced 16% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $809.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The substantial gain followed a lackluster performance during the first two months of 2019, as total construction starts in March were able to climb back to a level slightly above the average monthly pace during 2018. 


ENERGY

  • WTI crude oil futures price:4/22/2019: $65.70/barrel; up $2.30 from week earlier, down $2.68 from year earlier.
  • Natural gas futures price:4/22/2019: $2.524/MMBtu, down $0.066 from week earlier; down $0.215 from year earlier.
  • Retail gasoline price:4/22/2019: $2.841/gal., up $0.013 from week earlier; up $0.043 from year earlier.
  • Retail diesel price:4/22/2019: $3.147/gal., up $0.029 from week earlier; up $0.014 from year earlier.
  • Electricity:1/20/2019: Average price to industrial customers 6.58 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.96 cents/kilowatt hour from year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration