Historically, November, December and January are the slowest three months for the concrete industry in the state. However, December 2020 threw a curve ball to conventional thinking according to data recently released by the United States Geological Service. The USGS estimated 109,035 tons of cement were shipped to the state during the month. The total represents a 28% increase over the same period in 2019 and the highest December total since Trendlines was established.
Looking to ready mix totals, we estimated 403,757 cubic yards of concrete were placed during the month of December. The state ended the year with three consecutive months of double-digit growth over the same period in 2019. The strong 4th quarter resulted in ready mix volumes ending the year down .2%. This is a remarkable turn around following the first quarter of 2020 which saw volumes fall over 11% from the same period in 2019.
Looking to more current data, a recent report by the Alabama Center for Real Estate shows new single- family permits for the state are up 13.8% TYD. Additional positive residential news can be found in the Home Builder Index which currently sits at 82 for the Southeast. Looking to commercial construction, the AIA billing index rose above 50 for the first time in many months. When the number rises above 50, it is an indication of increased commercial projects in the design phase. These numbers support anecdotal evidence that our members are extremely busy when the weather is cooperating.
If you have any questions about this report, please contact our office.