WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX), a leading provider of corporate payment solutions, in collaboration with IHS, Inc., the leading global source of critical information and insight, today released results of its WEX Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI), which indicated a decrease of 0.6% in May 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 May 2013, the WEX Construction FCI reported that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies decreased 0.6% versus May 2012 and increased 0.8% versus the previous month.The WEX Construction FCI is available at http://www.wexinc.com/fuel-consumption-index. Last month’s WEX Construction FCI reflected the first year-over-year decline since September 2012, and additional government data releases were generally more positive than the 0.7% decline indicated by the seasonally-adjusted index in April. Private residential construction increased by 1.7% in April and construction spending excluding improvements – a good measure of activity – rose by 0.9% in the same period. Housing permits surged by 14.3% to an annual rate of 1,017,000, which is the highest rate since June 2008; however, housing starts dropped in April by 16.5% to an annual rate of 853,000. Total construction put-in-place, which is released a month later than the WEX Construction FCI, increased by 0.4% in April. The total employment report was positive with an increase of 175,000 jobs, and the construction industry gained 7,000 jobs, indicating that the private sector is largely shrugging off the federal government spending sequester.