WEX Inc. (NYSE: WXS), a leading provider of corporate 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 6.5% in February 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 February 2013, the WEX Construction FCI reported that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies increased 6.5% versus February 2012 and increased 1.6% 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 consecutive positive year-over-year growth indicated by the seasonally-adjusted index in most of the government’s subsequent construction data releases. Private residential construction rose by 3.3%; however, construction spending excluding improvements – a good measure of activity – decreased by 1.8% in January. January housing permit statistics were encouraging, with total permits increasing by 1.8%. Meanwhile, housing starts in January dropped by 8.5%, to an annual rate of 890,000. Total construction put-in-place, which is also released a month later than the WEX Construction FCI, fell by 2.1% in January. In February, the construction industry added 48,000 jobs after gaining 25,000 in January, which coincides with the February increase for the WEX Construction FCI.