(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 an increase of 2.5% in June 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 June 2013, the WEX Construction FCI reported that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies increased 2.5% versus June 2012 and decreased 0.5% 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
Last month’s WEX Construction FCI reflected the upward trend for the index, and additional government data releases were generally in line with the 0.7% increase indicated by the seasonally-adjusted index in May. Private residential construction increased by 0.7% in May and construction spending excluding improvements – a good measure of activity – grew by 0.3% in the same period. Housing starts jumped in May by 6.8% to an annual rate of 914,000; however, housing permits slipped by 3.1% to an annual rate of 974,000, which reflects a setback since reaching a five-year high in April. Total construction put-in-place, which is released a month later than the WEX Construction FCI, increased by 0.5% in May. The total employment report was positive with an increase of 195,000 jobs, and the construction industry gained 13,000 jobs, which was better than expected. This indicated that the private sector is largely shrugging off the federal government spending sequester.