The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported on Tuesday (9-14-21) that is Construction Backlog Indicator, the results of an ABC member survey, declined significantly to a reading of 7.7 months in August. The reading is down -0.8 months month-over-month (July vs. August) and down 0.3 months year-over-year (August 2020 vs. August 2021).
Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported today (9-16-21) that the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 4.1% on a year-over-year basis in August, up from a 3.7% gain in July. This is the fastest growth rate in the CPI since March 2003.
Freddie Mac has released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending September 16, 2021. The PMMS reports that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.86% with an average 0.7 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 2.88%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.87%.
The U.S. Department of Labor is reporting that an additional 332,000 Americans made their initial filing for unemployment benefits during the week ending on Saturday, September 11, 2021. This is an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
With the Canadian National Railway (CN) bid’s withdrawn, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and the Kansas City Southern Lines (KCS) have jointly announced today (9-15-21) that they have entered into a merger agreement. Under the terms, the CP has agreed to acquire KCS in a stock and cash transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately USD$31 billion, which includes the assumption of $3.8 billion of outstanding KCS debt.
The B.C. wildfire season came one step closer to coming to an ending with the province’s announcement on Tuesday evening (9-14-21) that it was lifting the provincial state of emergency. The state of emergency, which was put in place on July 20, 2021, came into effect to co-ordinate the response to one of the worst wildfire seasons on record.
Statistics Canada (StatsCan) released today (9-15-21) its early/flash estimates of the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) for August. The final version will be released on September 29th. According to the early release, the IPPI decreased -0.3% month-over-month in August.
Hardy Wentzel, a 40-year veteran of the timber sector and CEO of Structurlam, the Penticton, B.C.–based firm, reports that Structurlam is close to commissioning their first U.S. plant in Conway, Arkansas. The new 287,000-square-foot facility will produce glulam and CLT.
According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Application Survey (WMAS), for the week ending September 10, 2021 (with an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday), the Market Composite Index — a measure of mortgage loan application volume — increased 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.
British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests on Saturday (9-11-21) released the government mandated old growth strategic review, entitled “A New Future for Old Forests.” It was written by two retired foresters, Garry Merkel and Al Gorley, who spent months touring the province talking to stakeholders about how the trees, some more than 1,000 years old, should be logged and protected.