Posts Tagged ‘Labor’

Latest Consumer Confidence Report and Housing Demand

August 31st, 2018 Comments off

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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased in August, following a modest increase in July. The Index now stands at 133.4 (1985=100), up from 127.9 in July. The Present Situation Index improved from 166.1 to 172.2, while the Expectations Index increased from 102.4 last month to 107.6 this month,” per the Conference Board in a statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.


Consumer confidence increased to its highest level since October 2000 (Index, 135.8), following a modest improvement in July,” said Lynn Franco.  Franco is the Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved further. Expectations, which had declined in June and July, bounced back in August and continue to suggest solid economic growth for the remainder of 2018. Overall, these historically high confidence levels should continue to support healthy consumer spending in the near-term.”


Should Support Housing Demand

Many consumers said they planned to buy a house or other big-ticket items in the months ahead,” said Reuters about the report.


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Consumers’ sense of current conditions improved further in August to the best levels of any presidential administration in this century.

  • Those stating business conditions are “good” increased from 38.1 percent to 40.3 percent,
  • while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined from 10.3 percent to 9.1 percent.

Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more favorable.

  • Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” was virtually unchanged at 42.7 percent,
  • while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 14.8 percent to 12.7 percent.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook also rebounded in August.

  • The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 22.9 percent to 24.3 percent,
  • but those expecting business conditions will worsen marginally rose, from 10.3 percent to 10.5 percent.
  • Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement rose from 20.4 percent to 25.5 percent,
  • while the proportion expecting a decrease declined, from 9.4 percent to 7.0 percent.

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Source: August 2018 Consumer Confidence Survey®.

The data is similar to other reports previously cited by the Daily Business News, and should continue to foster confidence on the part of businesses planning their inventory and investments.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##(News, analysis, and commentary.)

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4 Concerns of Homebuilders Have Impacting Every American

March 20th, 2018 Comments off


PwC Partner Mitch Roschelle says that homebuilders’ optimism is retreating. Roschelle cites among the factors behind the decline – land, labor and lumber – which could affect every American who owns or rents a house.


You could add one more “L” to Roshelle’s list, LIBOR.

LIBOR is a benchmark rate, which some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short-term loans. It stands for London Interbank Offered Rate, and serves as a first step to calculating interest rates on various loan products throughout the world.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) tells MHProNews that their builder sentiment gauge fell to 70, the lowest reading since last November.


Builders’ optimism continues to be fueled by growing consumer demand for housing and confidence in the market,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, LA. “However, builders are reporting challenges in finding buildable lots, which could limit their ability to meet this demand.”


A strong labor market, rising incomes and a growing economy are boosting demand for homeownership even as interest rates rise,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz to the Daily Business News. “With these economic fundamentals in place, the single-family sector should continue to make gains at a gradual pace in the months ahead.”


Problems for Stick-Builders Could be Good News for Manufactured Housing…

Producers tell MHProNews that when components like steel, aluminum or lumber rise for conventional builders, even though it goes up for factory builders too, they increase is often less steep. Bulk purchase buying power is one reason for the advantage.

Less waste in the building process is another.

Manufactured housing sales have risen steadily since it hit its all-time low in 2009.


In spite of the obvious price and other advantages that manufactured housing has over conventional builders, the industry has still lagged behind.

The causes for that lag have been explored in other reports, including the analysis sparked by the Urban Institute’s report on manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

HUD Comment Letter – FR-6075-N-01 Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules

Reaching for the Sky, Multiple Level HUD Code Manufactured Homes

First Things First in Manufactured Housing

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Pre-Fabricating in Brooklyn

February 2nd, 2012 Comments off

Atlantic Station in Brooklyn, Eric Miller PhotoCNN ran a story this week about a series of modular highrises that could go up beside Atlantic Station in the heart of Brooklyn. The resulting 32-story, 6,000 unit complex would be the tallest modular structure in the world. While modular construction is not new, it hasn’t been used on taller buildings that experience high winds, and exert pressure on the components located near the ground in the building. Structural engineer David Farnsworth is quoted in the article as saying modular construction can save as much as 20 percent, a considerable amount considering New York is the most costly city in the U.S. to build in. The project has been stalled because the market rate for the units has come down faster than the cost of construction. Labor unions are concerned that developers could set up modular construction factories in places where labor costs are much lower.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)