This is a post from Jim Haughey's blog that covers the US construction industry.

Jim Haughey is the Chief Economist for Reed Construction Data and has over thirty years experience as a business economist, including twenty years monitoring the construction market. He has a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Michigan and has previously taught at the University of Michigan, Ohio University, Michigan State University and the University of Massachusetts.

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Construction Industry Forecasts

Notes from Jim Haughey - Jul 08, 2011

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Contractors cut 9,000 jobs in June
Jim Haughey, RCD Chief Economist

The very sour national jobs report for June included only 57,000 new private jobs, a loss of 39,000 government jobs and a 44,000 cut in previous estimates of April and May jobs. 60% of the new private jobs were in the very low paying leisure and hospitality industry. Temporary service jobs dropped 10,000. 17,400 jobs were cut in the usually steady education sector. Public sector layoffs will continue into 2012 as the stimulus funds used to retain public jobs are exhausted. The June employment report is much more pessimistic than the slim job gain.

The jobs survey was done during the week ending June 18th. Since then, the balance of economic reports has been slightly positive, including lower energy prices, higher stock market indexes and fewer initial claims for unemployment insurance. It is more likely than not that the worst period is now behind us.  If so, this only means that the overall spending pace has moved back to subpar and a brief period near zero growth. The GDP outlook for the second quarter remains in the 1.5-2.0% range with only net foreign trade and inventory accumulation (some of it unwanted) keeping growth positive. Then GDP growth outlook for the 2nd half of 2011 is in the 2-3% range. It will be in the bottom of the range if consumers and business owners and managers do not see an acceptable resolution to the debt limit crisis in the next three weeks.

The Reed Construction Data construction spending forecast has been cut further to a 5.2% decline in 2011 although we still expect construction spending to be rising beginning sometime during the summer.



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Read Other Recent Jim Haughey Posts

08/15 - Contractor Survey: Work backlog rises in 2nd Q but may fall in the summer
08/09 - Modest construction recovery will be supported by two more years of cheap credit
07/29 - Sour economic growth report threatens construction recovery
07/27 - Worry about the deficit not the debt limit
07/27 - Worry about the deficit not the debt limit
07/27 - Worry about the deficit not the debt limit
07/19 - Housing starts rebound.6% in June after two weak months
07/18 - Congress prepares to postpone resolving the deficit crisis assuring an extended period of subpar eco
07/12 - House Transportation Committee proposes to keep federal highway funding at fuel tax receipt level
07/09 - Don’t count on debt limit deal to restart sustained high economic growth
07/05 - The cost and frustration of selling a home contributes to the delayed housing recovery
07/05 - May construction spending down 0.6%; recovery still on hold
07/01 - FAA stops works on federally funded runway and control tower projects
06/21 - It is not more jobs that will quicken the economic recovery
06/16 - Mays’ 3.5% gain in housing starts does not signal a housing recovery immediately ahead
06/15 - Cautious spending threatens to delay construction recovery
06/10 - Economic and construction recoveries will be subpar for at least another year
06/09 - NYC construction unions may agree to drop expensive work rules to spur more work
06/04 - Contractors add 2,000 jobs in May; overall job gain disappointingly low
05/25 - No consensus for 2nd quarter GDP growth

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