All posts by Ralitsa Golemanova

About Ralitsa Golemanova

Ralitsa is a contributor for the JW Surety Bonds blog. She is an expert on surety bonds and licensing, which she has written extensively about and is closely following the dynamics of the industry.

Revenue Growth in Construction on a Slowdown


Jonathan Kos-Read / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The construction industry has seen steady improvement since 2009, but 2013 showed some signs of a slowdown in the growth process. The same goes for the first months of 2014, according to Sageworks. According to the Housing Starts report from the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, starts of new housing last month decreased by 5.9% compared to a year ago.

Even though growth is not as fast as before, construction is expanding faster than other areas of the economy. A big portion of the industries with highest growth are construction-related. Most of the growth comes from privately owned companies and their net profit margins are nearly at the levels before the recession. Residential construction is leading, as it started to improve already in 2010, while non-residential started only in 2011, but is also on a growth curve.

Read the full article at Accounting Today.

 

New Insurance Minimums Discussed by the FMCSA

FMCSA

 

The minimum insurance requirements for trucking are bound to change soon, as the FMCSA has formed a team to review the current situation and reevaluate them. The new study is a response to MAP-21, the 2012 highway law.

The standard for general freight since 1985 has been $750,000. For dangerous hazmats, it’s set at $5 million, while other hazmats’ minimum is $1 million.

When MAP-21 was being prepared, Congress considered raising the trucking minimum to $1 million, but instead decided to order a study on whose basis to make such a decision. The increase is seen as necessary due to increased costs in cases of crashes. These are mainly connected with higher medical expenses.

Simple calculations show that if the minimums are pegged to medical or core CPI, they would still have to be significantly higher than they are now. Thus the FMCSA sees the need to take the initiative and reevaluate them.

Read the full article at Truckinginfo.

Lease Deals: Three Tips How to Make the Best of Them


pedrosimoes7 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Auto dealerships can make a good profit from lease deals – it’s just a matter of doing it right. With these three tips, your dealership will be better suited to benefit from them.

First of all, it’s not likely that you will make $1000 from a lease. Relying on more products is the key here. This could mean a distribution among different services, such as maintenance, tires and wheels, key replacement and the like. If you play your cards well with these, you can increase your overall PVR drastically.

Next, plan well with your customer. Make sure you ask them the right questions, just like you would do with a regular sale. That’s how you can learn the most about their future needs such as paint damage, burns, tears or windshield repairs, for example.

Finally, you need a lease menu that speaks directly to the different conditions that your lessees are facing. You can make an electronic or printed one, but in both cases, the customer will have something visually appealing to choose from. Then you can present the benefits of each option to make their choices easier.

Read the full article at Dealer Marketing.

Applications for New Home Purchases Increased in March


CC Chapman / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Despite a slowdown in the annual rate of new home sales, there was a 15% increase in new home applications in March in comparison with the previous month. The new data comes from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and shows optimistic signs for home sales in general.

New single-family houses’ sales decreased by 10.1% to 479,000 in March compared to February. According to the MBA, all home sales in March were 46,000. In February, the number was 43,000, which signifies a 7% increase. The data is seasonally adjusted.

68.3% of new home purchase applications were executed through conventional loans, while 17.2% were done through FHA-backed mortgages. The average home loan went up to $296,428 in March as well.

Read the full article at Mortgage News Daily.

Trucking Employment on the Rise


EronsPics / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Employment in the trucking industry increased in March, as did the national employment as a whole, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

3,300 new jobs were added in for-hire trucking in March. This means a 1.8% increase in trucking employment from a year ago. The positive change from March 2010 is 12.9%. Still, trucking employment is below its peak from January 2007.

The transportation and warehousing sector as a whole added 7,990 new jobs.

The national economy added 192,000 new jobs last month. While this is a positive sign, unemployment remained unchanged at 6.7%. For the last year, 1.2 million people have found jobs and are out of the unemployment stats. The March employment increase comes mainly from the private sector.

Read the full article at Truckinginfo.

Closed Chrysler Dealerships Seek Compensation


khalid almasoud / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The federal bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors involved the closedown of many dealerships, which meant that many franchises had to go out of business forcefully. Now 148 Chrysler dealers are seeking compensation from the federal government for their losses.

The dealers’ point is that if the federal government had not pushed Chrysler to trim its sales centers, their businesses wouldn’t have been closed. They claim the forced closedowns were unconstitutional, as there was no financial compensation for the losses.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit seems to be giving them a chance to present their arguments. If the dealers win the case, this would mean that the GM dealers who went through the same procedure can also appeal.

Read the full article at Autoblog.