Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 56

The 4 percent slide for total construction starts year
to date is due to a 31 percent drop in nonbuilding
construction. But, much of this reduction was offset
by a 21 percent increase in nonresidential building.
Residential building is roughly flat year-over-year.
By region, total construction posted year-to-date gains in the
South Atlantic (up 4 percent), the West (up 7 percent) and the
Northeast (up 8 percent) regions. Total construction activity
was down by 26 percent. The South Central region, while the
Midwest region posted a modest 3 percent decline.
Inside the Beltway, the debate continues on revisions to
the Affordable Care Act as well as tax reform. However,
mid-April comments from Treasury Secretary Steve
Mnuchin appear to have pushed the timetable for tax for
reform well beyond the presumed August target. Likewise,
there has been little meaningful discussion regarding
infrastructure investments, a Trump initiative that would
have a stimulative effect for the fence industry.

AIA
The first quarter of the year ended on a positive note for the
Architecture Billings Index (ABI). As a leading economic
indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the
approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture
billings and construction spending. The American Institute of
Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 54.3, up
from a score of 50.7 in the previous month. This score reflects a
sizable increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates
an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.8,
down from a reading of 61.5 the previous month, while the new
design contracts index dipped from 54.7 to 52.3.
"The first quarter started out on uneasy footing, but fortunately
ended on an upswing entering the traditionally busy spring
season," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA,
PhD. "All sectors showed growth except for the commercial/
industrial market, which, for the first time in over a year
displayed a decrease in design services."

Key March ABI highlights:
* Regional averages: Midwest (54.6), South (52.6),
Northeast (52.4), West (50.2)
* Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential
(54.6), mixed practice (53.7), institutional (52.9),
commercial/industrial (49.8)
* Project inquiries index: 59.8
* Design contracts index: 52.3
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month
moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and
inquiries are monthly numbers.

Manufacturers' Report
STEEL
The U.S. steel mills continue to put pressure on pricing as a result
of increases in raw material but nothing announced recently.
Keep in mind that it takes months for the previous multiple
steel mill increases to pass into the fence product supply chain;
prices will therefore vary from manufacturer to manufacturer
and distributor and distributor as to how they balance the value
of their raw and finished inventory as well as a very competitive
marketplace. With this in mind there could still be some
price increase adjustments for steel intense products such as
framework and ornamental systems.

ZINC
Zinc prices appear to have softened, now trading internationally
in the range of $1.33 per pound down about $0.09 from March.

ASTM
The ASTM F14 Fence Committee's next meeting is Oct. 11,
2017, in New Orleans. Currently there are 11 ballots out, 9 for
their five-year review, one for revision and one proposed new
standard. As previously mentioned, ASTM's outstanding

www.americanfenceassociation.com | 56 | May/June 2017


http://www.americanfenceassociation.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fencepost - May/June 2017

Editor’s Note
Executive Director’s Message
President’s Message
Board of Directors | Board of Governors
Fencelines
Mistaken Identity: A Story of Cedar
Safety First
Minding Your Business
Class Act: AFA Education Foundation Bestows Seven Scholarships
Safety
Health Plan Checkup: Ensuring Your Benefits Program Is the Picture of Health
CLFMI
The Road More Traveled: 811 Car and 811 Bike Recognized as Damage Prevention Icons
New Members
The 811 Across Texas Public Awareness Campaign
Calendar
FenceSense
Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Intro
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - cover1
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - cover2
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 3
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 4
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 5
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 6
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 7
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 8
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 9
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 10
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 11
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 12
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Editor’s Note
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 14
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Executive Director’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 16
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - President’s Message
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 18
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Board of Directors | Board of Governors
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Fencelines
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 21
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Mistaken Identity: A Story of Cedar
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 23
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 24
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 25
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 26
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Safety First
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 28
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 29
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 30
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Minding Your Business
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 32
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 33
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Class Act: AFA Education Foundation Bestows Seven Scholarships
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 35
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 36
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Safety
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Health Plan Checkup: Ensuring Your Benefits Program Is the Picture of Health
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 39
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 40
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 41
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 42
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - CLFMI
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 44
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - The Road More Traveled: 811 Car and 811 Bike Recognized as Damage Prevention Icons
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 46
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - New Members
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 48
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - The 811 Across Texas Public Awareness Campaign
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 50
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Calendar
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 52
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - FenceSense
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 54
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 55
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 56
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 57
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 58
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 59
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 60
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - 61
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - cover3
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - cover4
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - outsert1
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - outsert2
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - outsert3
Fencepost - May/June 2017 - outsert4
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