Each month, Dodge Data & Analytics compiles a Key Market Indicator Report. This is an internal document the company uses to highlight the direction of construction prices and a handful of other industry metrics. Three observations stand out from the March 2017 report.
1. The industry continues to deliver great value to building owners. Look at the “General PPI” and the “Building and Subcontractor PPIs” categories in the chart below. Even in a marketplace where labor is extremely hard to find, we continue to deliver products and services for the most part below the overall rate of inflation since 2015. Material prices remain low. Although there may be some pressure on wages, it is not enough to drive up overall construction costs. Owners continue to get a great deal.
2. The indicators of the overall health of the industry are all pointing positively. The Dodge Index reflects construction starts. It is up. The Dodge Momentum Index reflects our rate of capturing new project information, which foreshadows future construction. It is up. The Architectural Billing Index reflects the direction of work at architectural firms. It is up. All are trending positively.
3. Construction unemployment is trending down. The number would suggest there is additional slack in construction employment. Anecdotally, I hear the labor situation is much tighter than the unemployment numbers would suggest.
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