Construction spending, not including improvements, was up 1.8 percent in January as reported by Wright Express a provider of value-based, business payment processing and information management solutions. While the company called that “solid” it didn’t mask the possibility that even though construction is on the mend, it may be 2015 before it achieves activity similar to its last peak in 2007.
For January 2012, the Wright Express Construction Fuel Consumption Index reported that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies decreased by 3.4 percent versus January 2011 and decreased by 2.1 percent versus the previous month. Still, the company said other released construction data shows mild improvement for the construction industry, including the addition of 21,000 jobs in January and construction in-place up 1.5 percent in December. Additionally, while continued infrastructure spending is expected to decline moderately over the course of 2012 as state and local governments are faced with budgetary constraints, it increased again in December by 1.1%.
IHS Global Insight analyzed the relationship between sixteen different construction and housing indicators and the construction sector fuel consumption data provided by Wright Express. Correlation tests were conducted on each of the indicators against the volume of gallons consumed, the volume of gallons consumed per effective fueling day, the volume of gallons consumed per active card per effective fueling day. All series were tested at seasonally adjusted rates, as well as non-seasonally adjusted rates. By tracking the volume of fuel consumed by construction companies in the United States, the index provides an accurate and up-to-date indication of construction activity in the country.