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Leading forecast revises 2017 construction starts slightly downward

Sources: ConstructConnect, Norcross, Ga.; CP staff

The Q3 2017 Forecast Quarterly Report of ConstructConnect (iSqFt, Construction Market Data, BidClerk, Construction Data source) has trimmed projected U.S. total construction starts growth for this year against 2016 from 4.8 percent to 4.5 percent, and the 2018 year-over-year gain from 6.0 percent to 5.9 percent. 

Read more: Leading forecast revises 2017 construction starts slightly downward

Concrete paver, slab sales climb steadily, return to 2006 peak in sight

Sources: Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, Chantilly, Va.; CP staff

Sales of concrete pavers and slabs increased to a projected 721.4 million square feet in the U.S. and Canada during 2016, a 4.3 percent increase from the prior year’s 690 million sq. ft. According to the 2017 ICPI Industry Sales Profile, based on a survey of producers representing more than 50 percent of U.S. and Canadian paver and slab capacity, last year’s estimated total was a) the highest since 2006, when estimated shipments hit 800 million sq. ft.; and, b) 35.5 percent above 2010, when the industry hit a recession-low sales point of 472 million sq. ft.

Read more: Concrete paver, slab sales climb steadily, return to 2006 peak in sight

Lies surrounding Davis Bacon compliance land concrete contractor jail time

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor; CP staff

The owner of an Oregon-based Westwind Concrete is nearing completion of a two-month prison sentence for lying to Labor Department Wage and Hour Division investigators about payment of $93,000 in back wages to 27 workers on a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-backed project, subject to Davis Bacon and Related Acts prevailing wage provisions.

Read more: Lies surrounding Davis Bacon compliance land concrete contractor jail time

Construction material prices building up construction costs

Sources: IHS Markit Ltd., London; Procurement Executives Group

Construction costs rose again in July, according to IHS Markit and the Procurement Executives Group. The headline IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index registered 51.3, down from 51.5 in June. Both material/equipment and labor had few categories with falling prices. While the material/equipment sub-index rose, the labor sub-index showed some weakness.

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Huntsman Corp. prepares to spin off Davis, Granufin pigment business

Sources: Huntsman Corp., The Woodlands, Texas; CP staff

Huntsman anticipates an early-August initial public offering of 22.7 million Venator Materials Plc shares, priced in the $20-$22 range and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the VNTR symbol. The Wynard, United Kingdom-based entity encompasses Davis Colors, Granufin and other Rockwood Pigments brands Huntsman acquired in 2013.

Read more: Huntsman Corp. prepares to spin off Davis, Granufin pigment business