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FIRST LOOK - JULY 2018


New TRIP Report Targets Georgia

New TRIP report, “Modernizing Georgia’s Transportation System: Progress & Challenges in Providing Safe, Efficient and Well-Maintained Roads, Highways & Bridges,” lists needed projects throughout the state that still lack sufficient funding to proceed prior to 2022.

Midwest Materials Purchased

Pioneer Landscape Centers acquired Midwest Materials in the company’s second transaction of the year. The acquisition of Midwest Materials gives Pioneer a greater presence in the Colorado territory.

Granite Construction Reports Increases

Granite Construction reported that revenue increased to $563.4 million, up 20.3 percent year-over-year for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. Construction Materials revenue increased 32.5 percent to $45.7 million, compared with $34.5 million last year.


MSHA WATCH

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced the availability of $10,537,000 in state grant funding to provide federally mandated training and retraining of miners and mine operators working at surface and underground coal and metal/nonmetal mines. Under Section 503 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, any state in which mining takes place may apply for the grant. MSHA may fund 80 percent of the activities under a state grant program, and the state must provide matching funds of no less than 20 percent of the total program costs. For funding consideration, applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by July 16, 2018.


USGS STATS

The estimated U.S. output of construction aggregates produced and shipped for consumption in the first quarter of 2018 was 422 million metric tons (Mt), a slight increase compared with that of the same period of 2017, according to Jason Willett, crushed stone commodity specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The estimated annual output produced for consumption in 2017 was 2.26 billion metric tons (Gt), a slight increase compared with the annual output for 2016.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

The value of new construction starts in April fell 13 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $674.3 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The decline follows the 11 percent gain reported for March, which was the highest level of construction starts over the preceding six months.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that construction spending during April 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,310.4 billion, 1.8 percent (±1.0 percent) above the revised March estimate of $1,286.8 billion. The April figure is 7.6 percent (±1.5 percent) above the April 2017 estimate of $1,217.7 billion.

The Dodge Momentum Index achieved a small gain in May, moving 1.8 percent higher to 167.8 (2000=100) from the revised April reading of 164.9. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.


ENERGY PRICES

  • WTI Crude Oil Futures: 6/19/2018: $65.07/barrel, down $1.29 from week earlier up $20.87 from year earlier.
  • Diesel Fuel: 6/18/2018: $3.244/gal., down $0.022 from week earlier; up $0.755 from year earlier.
  • Electricity: 3/26/2018: Average price to industrial customers 6.64 cents/kilowatt hour; down from 6.73 cents/kilowatt hour a year earlier.
  • Natural Gas Futures: 6/19/2018: $2.900/MMBtu, down $0.039 from week earlier; up $0.006 from year earlier.
  • Propane: 3/26/2018: $2.480/gal., up from $2.390/gal. a year earlier.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration