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WEX and IHS have released the results of the WEX Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI), which indicated an increase of 6.5 percent in February year-over-year and 1.6 percent compared to January.
The WEX Construction FCI measures national fuel consumption statistics for the construction industry to provide an up-to-date indication of construction activity in the United States.
Last month’s WEX Construction FCI showed positive year-over-year growth, consistent with the seasonally-adjusted index in most of the government’s subsequent construction data releases.
Private residential construction increased by 3.3 percent, but construction spending excluding improvements decreased by 1.8 percent in January. Total housing permit permits in January increased by 1.8 percent, while housing starts decreased by 8.5 percent to an annual rate of 890,000.
Total construction put-in-place, released a month later than the WEX Construction FCI, decreased by 2.1 percent in January.
In February, the construction industry added 48,000 jobs following a gain of 25,000 in January.
Follows a recent increase in United States home sales, new home sales increased by 15.6 percent in January to a 437,000-unit annual rate. Existing home sales increased 0.4 percent in January, while inventories fell to 1.71 million units–the lowest since December 1999.
The report indicates that the housing market is expected to continue to improve and outperform the rest of the economy over the next few quarters due to a low level of housing inventory and low interest rates.
To view previous WEX Construction FCI reports, visit wexinc.com/fuel-consumption-index.