Inc. (NYSE: WXS), a leading provider of corporate card payment
solutions, in collaboration with IHS, the leading global source of
information and analytics, today released results of its WEX
Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI), which indicated an increase
of 5.8% in January versus its level at the same time the previous year.
The WEX Construction FCI measures national fuel consumption statistics
for the construction industry, which provides an accurate and up-to-date
indication of construction activity in the United States.
WEX worked with IHS to capture and analyze transaction data from its
closed loop network which includes over 90 percent of the domestic
retail fuel locations. With this data, the WEX Construction FCI can be
used to identify emerging trends within the construction industry and
the national economy.
The indicators were tested at monthly, quarterly and annual frequencies,
with the greatest insights produced using the year-over-year percent
change of the monthly data. For January 2013, the WEX Construction FCI
reported that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies increased
5.8% versus January 2012 and increased 0.4% versus the previous month.
The WEX Construction FCI, which is available monthly in advance of the
U.S. Census Bureau figures on construction spending, is available at http://www.wexinc.com/fuel-consumption-index.
Last month’s WEX Construction FCI reflected the nearly flat growth
indicated by the seasonally-adjusted index in most of the government’s
subsequent construction data releases. Construction spending excluding
improvements – a good measure of activity – decreased by 0.6% in
December; however, private residential construction rose by 1.6%.
December housing permit statistics were mixed, with total permits
increasing by 0.3%. Housing starts jumped 12.1% in December, to an
annual rate of 954,000 ― the highest since June 2008. The construction
industry added 28,000 jobs in January, after gaining 30,000 in December,
but the gain in employment was not accompanied by a noticeable uptick
for the WEX Construction FCI. Total construction put-in-place, which is
also released a month later than the WEX Construction FCI, rose by 0.9%
According to the IHS analysis, despite the month-to-month mild growth in
January for the WEX Construction FCI, the U.S. housing market has shown
signs of growth; however, new home sales fell by 7.3% in December to an
annual rate of 369,000 units. Existing home sales slipped by 1% in
December and inventories fell to 1.82 million units, which is the lowest
since January 2001.
Inventories are lean and dropping because builders are not building
enough homes, which is why home prices are rising in most markets today.
In turn, higher home prices are bringing more builders into the market.
The housing market is expected to continue to improve and outperform the
rest of the economy over the next few quarters due to the low level of
housing inventory and low interest rates.
The WEX Construction FCI for January 2013 is available at http://www.wexinc.com/fuel-consumption-index.
About WEX Inc.
WEX Inc. (NYSE: WXS) is a leading provider of corporate card payment
solutions. From its roots as a pioneer in fleet card payments in 1983,
WEX now provides its more than 350,000 customers ― representing more
than 7.6 million cardholders ― with exceptional payment security and
control across a wide spectrum of business sectors. The Company’s
operations include WEX Bank, Fleet One, Pacific Pride, rapid! PayCard,
Wright Express Prepaid Cards Australia, Wright Express Fuel Cards
Australia, Wright Express New Zealand and CorporatePay Limited, England,
as well as a majority equity position in UNIK S.A., Brazil. WEX and its
subsidiaries employ more than 1,300 associates. For more information
about WEX, please visit WEXInc.com.
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