Data recently released by the United States Geological Service shows 119,240 tons of cement were shipped to the state during June 2020. The data represents a 7% growth over the same period in 2019. The June cement tonnage increase is the first month of 2020 that exceeded the same period in 2019. The cement tonnage also represents the high-water mark for the year in respect to volume.
Looking to ready mix volumes, we estimate 441,546 yards of concrete were placed during June. The state exceeded 400,000 cubic yards for the third consecutive month. Even with the uptick during June, the state is lagging behind 2019 yardages by slightly less than 7%.
Residential construction continues to advance at a level most economists could have never predicted. According to data recently released by the Alabama Center for Real Estate, there were 10,483 home starts in the state during the first eight months. This is a 14.2% increase over the same period in 2019. Every metropolitan area is ahead of 2019 except for Gadsden, AL. The homebuilder index for September reached 83, which is the highest in the 35-year history of the survey.
Commercial construction is much more concerning. The AIA billing index remained at 40 for the second consecutive month. A number below 50 is a likely indicator of a slowdown in commercial construction.
If you have any questions about this report, please contact our office.