Severe weather discouraging for the construction industry

Photo credit: jef safi \ ‘pictosophizing / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


Although the economy is improving and there are positive prospects for the construction industry, the bad winter weather takes its toll.

Two months in a row now results are weaker in the field. In December 2013, the stats fell by 4.8%. In January 2014, it’s even worse – construction is down 16%. The most affected is the Midwest due to the severe weather there. February is not promising a big change in this respect.

Still, 2013 was the best year for the construction business since 2007. There were 976,000 units built, which is a 17.7% increase.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index is down to 46, which is below 50 and shows that the majority of construction businesses see the current situation as negative. 

The general prospects for 2014 are positive, though. The improvements in employment and the low mortgage rates are strong stimulators for construction.

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Cold Weather Freezes Out January Truck Tonnage

The snow and ice managed to disrupt the trucking business, as it did with many areas of U.S. economy.

4.3% is the decrease of the American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. It was down 0.8% in December 2013 as well. The index is calculated on the basis of surveys with ATA members. 

The tonnage increased by 6.3% in 2013 as a whole, which is a significant improvement from the previous year, when the increase was 2.3%

In January 2014, though, the severe winter weather impacted negatively the tonnage. It is difficult to compensate missed days of work due to hours and weight regulations. This means that the results for January will definitely be lower. Still, trucking was in good shape in between storms. This shows that the general trend is a positive one.  


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