Construction Spending Increases, Raising Manufacturing Activity to a 14-Year High
Sep15

Construction Spending Increases, Raising Manufacturing Activity to a 14-Year High

The construction equipment industry is expected to grow 12% over a 10-year period from 2016 until 2026. As construction spending continues, however, those growth projections could increase even more.¬†With a market share of around 10%, the United States is the second largest construction market worldwide and continues to grow. According to Construction Equipment, construction spending increased 0.1% from June to July, and 5.2% for the first seven months of 2018. This uptick in spending is displaying a balanced growth in spending for the majority of the year. “Contractors are optimistic that demand for projects will continue but many report that workforce shortages are leading to longer construction schedules and higher costs,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Year-to-date spending through the first seven months of the year was 5.4% higher than in January through July 2017 for public construction and 5.2% for private construction. Additionally, private construction increased 7.7% for residential projects and 2.2% for nonresidential jobs. “In the latest Autodesk-AGC of America Workforce Survey, firms overwhelmingly plan to hire more workers, but 80 percent of firms report difficulty filling hourly craft positions, leading to longer completion times for projects,” Simonson added. According to CNBC, these construction spending increases lead to a 14-year high U.S. manufacturing industry activity. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) stated that its index of national factory activity jumped to 61.3 last month, the highest reading since May 2004. A reading above 50 indicates significant growth in manufacturing, which contributes roughly 12% of the U.S. economy. Overall, spending on private construction projects slipped 0.1% in July after decreasing 0.5% in the month prior. Additionally, state and local government construction outlays advanced 0.6% in July after falling 1.6% throughout June. The ISM has cautioned that the “nation’s employment resources and supply chains continue to...

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Cocaine Couple Smuggles Six Pounds Of Blow In Airplane Neck Pillows

Vacations are meant to be relaxing but often end up being a little stressful. Whether you’re on a cruise hoping there’s enough entertainment to keep your kids occupied or dreading an international flight, it’s not always a glamorous process. Two young travelers got to see the dark side of international travel after attempting to smuggle more than six pounds of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Rafael Francisco Bautista Perdomo, 21 years old, confessed that he agreed to smuggle the drugs to the United States for $10,000. How? He sewed the contraband into his c-shaped neck pillow and called it a day. That didn’t work out so well when he landed in Newark, New Jersey and had to go through customs. Perdomo and his accomplice Brenda Mancebo, age 20, were quickly apprehended, whereupon they feigned ignorance and claimed not to know one another. Everyone’s seen a drug smuggling movie once or twice, right? Just play dumb, that should work, right? It didn’t work. Their lie was swiftly revealed, digging their legal graves even deeper. “Law enforcement conducted a lawful search of Mancebo’s phone, where law enforcement discovered multiple pictures of Perdomo that appeared to have been taken by Perdomo himself,” said a Homeland Security Agent. Selfies. Betrayed by selfies. Oh, and six pounds of cocaine. They’ve both been arrested and are being held without bail until sentencing. Both pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy, the penalties for which are severe. There’s a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and the potential for up to 40 years. That’s quite the risk to take for a powder packed neck pillow. Held without bail until their December sentencing, they’re likely hoping for the minimum sentence. However it happens, we’re willing to bet they’re reconsidering just how clever coke filled neck pillows really were for the promise of $10,000. The next time you’re thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic, or anywhere in the world, just do that and don’t attempt to make your mark in international drug trafficking. It doesn’t bode well for anyone...

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