Construction Forecasts

News & Analysis

Construction Materials Market Expanded April Through June

08/12/2011 by Jim Haughey, RCD Chief Economist

The construction materials market expanded in the April-June period about in line with materials price increases. This is consistent with the marginal spring increase in construction spending. Materials orders and shipments perked up in June although production gains slowed in response to a rise in inventory earlier in the quarter during a weaker economy. The slowdown in US and world economic growth weakened commodity demand and prices and keep materials prices steady in June after a 7-8% annual inflation pace over the last year.

Slow improvement in materials sales is expected for the rest of 2011 with the pace quickening significantly in 2012 and again in 2013. Price inflation will be on the same track. This assumes that GDP growth remains at at least a 1.5% growth trend. The Reed Construction Data GDP outlook is slightly higher than this.

Construction Materials

  Percent Change in…
  1 month 3 months 12 months 3 years
Production 0.3 1.6 4.0 -16.6
Prices 0.0 1.9 6.7 8.6
Orders 0.3 0.6 2.1 -22.0
Shipments 1.0 0.7 3.0 -20.7
Unfilled Orders 0.4 2.8 11.9 -5.8
Inventory -0.1 2.3 6.0 -9.6
Inv/Sales Ratio -1.1 1.7 2.9 14.1

Sources: US Dept. of Labor, US Dept. of Commerce, Federal Reserve Board


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