Trendlines Statewide Monthly Construction Data- February 2024

Concrete Volumes lag in November

Data recently released by the United States Geological Service shows 139,170 tons of cement were shipped to the state in November 2023. The tonnage is 10% lower than November 2022 and 17% lower than October 2023. Cement shipments have now contracted in seven of the first 11 months of 2023 and just over 2% lower with one month of data remaining for 2023.

Looking to ready mix volumes, we estimate 515,347 cubic yards of concrete were placed during the month.

A slowdown in residential construction continues to be a drain on concrete production in the state. Data released by UA’s Center for Real Estate estimated new home starts were 8.2% lower in 2023 than 2022 (16,917 vs 15,531 home starts). However, the Wells Fargo Home Builder index shows home builder sentiment is on the rise and now sits at 50 for the southeast. Hopefully, the rising sentiment will translate into more new home starts in 2024. Like home builder sentiment, the AIA billing index on design contracts saw an uptick in January. The number rose from 48.1 in December to 50 in January. A number over 50 forecasts positive outlook for commercial construction in the future.

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