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WEX Construction Fuel Consumption Index Compared With Total Construction Put-In-Place (Graphic: Business Wire)

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 an increase of 2.3% in July 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 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 July 2013, the WEX Construction FCI reported that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies increased 2.3% versus July 2012 and decreased 0.02% 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 year-over-year increase for the index with an upsurge during nine of the last ten months, and additional government data releases were generally in line with the 0.5% decrease indicated by the seasonally-adjusted index in June. Private residential construction decreased by 1.2% in June and construction spending, excluding improvements – a good measure of activity – also fell in the same period by 1.0%. Meanwhile, housing starts dropped in June by 9.9% to an annual rate of 836,000, which was possibly hampered by poor weather conditions, and housing permits fell by 7.5% to an annual rate of 911,000, which reflected that builders were still dealing with a backlog of permits after the surge in April. Total construction put-in-place – released a month later than the WEX Construction FCI – decreased by 0.6% in June. While the total employment report for the country had an increase of 162,000 jobs, construction employment showed little change in July.

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