SBE News

Capitol Update 10/12/2023

Inflation may be cooling off

The U.S. government is expected to report that overall prices for consumers rose about 0.2% last month compared to August and 3.6% compared to a year ago. And core inflation, which accounts for prices not including energy and food, is expected to be up 4.1% from September of last year. That’s better than the 9.1% peak in mid-2022, but it doesn’t mean prices are lower than they used to be — they’re just not rising as quickly. However, gas prices are on track to keep falling.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report today could be especially significant for the trajectory of the economy as interest rates sit at their highest levels in two decades. The Fed is expected to announce whether interest rates will change at the beginning of next month.

Construction jobs, momentum index up in Sept.

The construction industry added 11,000 jobs in September, with the lion’s share coming in residential work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Separately, Dodge Construction Network’s Dodge Momentum Index rose 3% last month to a reading of 182.5 as the institutional component increased 9% and the commercial component registered a 1% decline. Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model)  Dodge Data & Analytics

Industrial construction starts down in 2023

Construction starts in the industrial sector reached 204.3 million square feet from January through August, down from 614.2 million square feet in the same period last year, according to the latest National Industrial Report from CommercialEdge. Experts attribute the decline to supply chain and labor factors and to a plateau in ecommerce, but CommercialEdge forecasts a rebound after next year. Full Story: Building Design+Construction  


CPI for all items rises 0.4% in September; shelter up

In September, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, and rose 3.7 percent over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in September (SA); up 4.1 percent over the year (…

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PPI for final demand advances 0.5% in September; goods rise 0.9%, services increase 0.3%

The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.5 percent in September. Prices for final demand goods rose 0.9 percent, and the index for final demand services advanced 0.3 percent. Prices for final demand moved up 2.2 percent for the 12 months ended in September.

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Study suggests mileage-based fees for trucks can work

A report from the Eastern Transportation Coalition suggests the reporting system motor carriers use to help determine fuel taxes has applicability for a mileage-based user fee for trucks. The conclusion is based on a pilot program that split trucks into weight-based categories and recorded mileage, with test road user fee statements sent to respective companies. Full Story: Civil Engineering

AI supplementing construction workforce, not replacing it

AI has the ability to automate arduous tasks for humans, such as project scheduling, cost estimation and equipment maintenance; allowing humans to focus more on creative, and in some cases, safer, tasks. Satya Vyas explores this benefit as well as the possibilities of human-AI interaction through augmented reality. Full Story: CXOToday

Rising Treasury yields weigh on multifamily plans

Multifamily construction deals are facing a steeper challenge as the 10-year US Treasury yield climbed to 4.874% Tuesday, its highest point since 2007. And observers say more increases are likely in view of recent robust economic indicators. Full Story: Multifamily Dive

Successful bond sale advances San Diego airport project

A plan to build a replacement Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport is advancing with completion of $1.062 billion in bond financing. Funds will be applied to roadway and air-side projects, as well as the terminal. Full Story: Times of San Diego