That Monthly Metals Index for Construction (MMI) this month’s MMI value rose by 8.9%, as construction spending in June rose slightly compared to the previous month.
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Construction spending increases in June
Construction spending in the United States reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 1,552.2 billion in June, the Census Bureau reported.
The June rate marked an increase of 0.1% compared to May. Additionally, the June rate rose 8.2% from the June 2020 estimate.
Meanwhile, construction spending for the first six months of the year was $ 736.5 billion. The half-year total marked a jump of 5.4% compared to the first half of 2020.
Private construction spending reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 1,215.2 billion, or 0.4% more than in May. In the private construction sector, residential construction reached a rate of $ 763.4 billion in June, or an increase of 1.1%. Non-residential construction hit a rate of $ 451.8 billion in June, a decrease of 0.7%.
Meanwhile, public construction spending reached a rate of $ 337.0 billion, or fell 1.2%. Education construction fell 0.8% to $ 81.3 billion. Highway construction fell 5.3% to $ 92.4 billion.
ABI remains close to a record high
The Architecture Billings Index, published monthly by the American Institute of Architects, continued its strong run in June.
The June ABI checked in at 57.1 (anything over 50 indicates billing growth). However, growth slowed compared to May’s ABI which checked in at 58.5. The ABI returned to positive territory in February for the first time in a year and has grown every month since then.
The Design Contracts Index reached 58.9 in June compared to 63.2 in May.
“While slightly fewer companies reported an increase in corporate billing in June than in May, the current rate of payroll growth remains close to the highest levels ever recorded in the history of the index,” the ABI report said. “In addition, the number of inquiries rose to a new all-time high of 71.8 and the value of new design orders also remained very high at 58.9. In addition, companies reported the highest order backlog in two years with an average of 6.5 months. “
Meanwhile, the Midwest led the way by region with an ABI score of 62.0. The Midwest was followed by the West (59.7), the South (57.3) and the Northeast (53.2).
In the survey in this month’s ABI report, architectural firms were asked about difficulties in filling vacancies. According to the report, 59% said they had difficulty filling vacancies. For large firms with annual bills of $ 5 million or more, the figure rose to 80%.
Only 12% of the responding companies stated that they had no problems filling vacancies. 27% stated that they had no vacancies.
Backward employment in construction
Like other industries, construction companies point to difficulties in hiring workers.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA), construction employment either fell or stagnated in 101 metropolitan areas between February 2020 and June 2021 (although construction spending increased overall in June).
“Construction employment typically rises in all but 30 metropolitan areas between February and June,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The fact that, despite a hot housing market, more than three times as many subways as usual have failed to create construction jobs, is an indication of the continuing impact of the pandemic on both the demand for non-residential projects and the supply of labor.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that non-farm employment increased by 850,000 in June. However, employment in construction fell by 7,000 in June. Employment in construction has fallen by 238,000 jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels (February 2020).
Current metal prices and trends
The Chinese rebar price rose 9.7% month-over-month to $ 835.78 per ton as of August 1. In contrast, the Chinese price for H-beam steel rose 9.2% to $ 857.45 per ton.
The price of shredded steel scrap in the US rose 0.4% to $ 505 per short ton.
The European price of commercial 1050 aluminum sheet rose 4.1% to $ 3,798 per ton.
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