The U.S. economy contracted at a 1.4% annualized rate during the first quarter of 2022. Investment in nonresidential structures declined at an annual rate of 0.9% during the quarter and has contracted nine of the past 10 quarters, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
“The economy’s woeful performance during 2022’s first quarter complicates matters,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Conventional wisdom says the economy has enough momentum to contend with the tighter monetary policy the Federal Reserve is pursuing to countervail inflation. Today’s data indicate that the economy is weaker than thought, which means the Federal Reserve will have a very difficult time curbing inflation without driving the economy into recession in late 2022 or 2023.
“That said, the economy should manage to generate some positive momentum during the next two to three quarters,” said Basu. “Consumer demand for goods and services remains strong. The omicron variant affected the economy during the first quarter and that does not appear to be the case during the second. Global supply chains have been adjusting to the dislocations caused by the Russian-Ukraine war. Many state and local governments are flush with cash and continue to plan for a period of elevated infrastructure outlays.
“There is one other bit of good news,” said Basu. “The weakness exhibited by the economy during the first quarter may persuade monetary policymakers to raise interest rates less aggressively. This is a matter of significance for nonresidential contractors, who have become less confident in recent months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Indicator. Investment in structures continues to decline in America, in part due to weakness in office, lodging and shopping mall segments. Presumably, additional rapid increases in borrowing costs would further dampen new construction in these categories. It may be that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more gradually than they would have knowing that the U.S. economy is already rather fragile.”
Multifamily Housing | Mar 24, 2023
Average size of new apartments dropped sharply in 2022
The average size of new apartments in 2022 dropped sharply in 2022, as tracked by RentCafe. Across the U.S., the average new apartment size was 887 sf, down 30 sf from 2021, which was the largest year-over-year decrease.
Multifamily Housing | Mar 14, 2023
Multifamily housing rent rates remain flat in February 2023
Multifamily housing asking rents remained the same for a second straight month in February 2023, at a national average rate of $1,702, according to the new National Multifamily Report from Yardi Matrix. As the economy continues to adjust in the post-pandemic period, year-over-year growth continued its ongoing decline.
Contractors | Mar 14, 2023
The average U.S. contractor has 9.2 months worth of construction work in the pipeline, as of February 2023
Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator increased to 9.2 months in February, according to an ABC member survey conducted Feb. 20 to March 6. The reading is 1.2 months higher than in February 2022.
Industry Research | Mar 9, 2023
Construction labor gap worsens amid more funding for new infrastructure, commercial projects
The U.S. construction industry needs to attract an estimated 546,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2023 to meet demand for labor, according to a model developed by Associated Builders and Contractors. The construction industry averaged more than 390,000 job openings per month in 2022.
Market Data | Mar 7, 2023
AEC employees are staying with firms that invest in their brand
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Multifamily Housing | Feb 21, 2023
Multifamily housing investors favoring properties in the Sun Belt
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Contractors | Feb 14, 2023
The average U.S. contractor has nine months worth of construction work in the pipeline
Associated Builders and Contractors reports today that its Construction Backlog Indicator declined 0.2 months to 9.0 in January, according to an ABC member survey conducted Jan. 20 to Feb. 3. The reading is 1.0 month higher than in January 2022.
Office Buildings | Feb 9, 2023
Post-Covid Manhattan office market rebound gaining momentum
Office workers in Manhattan continue to return to their workplaces in sufficient numbers for many of their employers to maintain or expand their footprint in the city, according to a survey of more than 140 major Manhattan office employers conducted in January by The Partnership for New York City.
Giants 400 | Feb 9, 2023
New Giants 400 download: Get the complete at-a-glance 2022 Giants 400 rankings in Excel
See how your architecture, engineering, or construction firm stacks up against the nation's AEC Giants. For more than 45 years, the editors of Building Design+Construction have surveyed the largest AEC firms in the U.S./Canada to create the annual Giants 400 report. This year, a record 519 firms participated in the Giants 400 report. The final report includes 137 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.
Multifamily Housing | Feb 7, 2023
Multifamily housing rents flat in January, developers remain optimistic
Multifamily rents were flat in January 2023 as a strong jobs report indicated that fears of a significant economic recession may be overblown. U.S. asking rents averaged $1,701, unchanged from the prior month, according to the latest Yardi Matrix National Multifamily Report.