The global construction index dropped by one point to a value of 91 in April, a decrease of 1.1 percent from 92 in March, as a result of across-the-board price declines on a broad range of steel products, along with European semi-finished aluminum prices.
Despite somewhat sluggish metal price data coming from the MetalMiner IndX℠ and the Construction MMI®, the Architecture Billings Index posted its highest numbers since 2007, hitting 54.9 in February. (A number above 50 indicates growth.) As a leading economic indicator, one might conclude that the Construction MMI® has hit a lull rather than a longer upward trend.
“In addition to the ABI, other data supports growth for the construction sector, at least in the short term,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “Both commercial and residential construction grew in February by 1.2% in total, led by single family housing construction.”
But not all economists remain upbeat. In particular, ITR Economics has expressed some concerns for 2014, though the firm remains quite positive for 2013.
Price Drivers of Construction Index
Weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge prices fell 6 percent. After rising the previous month, weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge prices dropped 5.2 percent. Weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge prices fell 4.7 percent. Chinese H-beam steel prices dropped 2.6 percent.
The price of US shredded scrap climbed 7.8 percent. The price of European 1050 aluminum rose 2.9 percent over the past month, the second straight month of gains.
The price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady last month.
The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.