The cost of construction materials remains a "mixed bag," according to a price report released by the Associated General Contractors of America. "The recent price decreases are very welcome after years of price spikes that contractors could not pass on in a weak construction market," said Ken Simonson, the AGC's chief economist.
Despite weakness in the global economy, China's manufacturing activity reached a 14-month high this month, according to a preliminary purchasing managers index by HSBC Holdings. The index hit 50.9, increasing from 50.5 in November, on a scale in which anything higher than 50 indicates expansion.
Confidence in the equipment-finance industry increased slightly this month, according to an index by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. The monthly index reached 62.1 in April, up from March's 61.7. This is the fourth straight month of increase. Thomas Jaschik, president of BB&T Equipment Finance, said still-cautious consumers made respondents cautious as well.
Confidence in the equipment-finance industry increased this month, according to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. The Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry reached 61.7, compared with February's 59.6.
Confidence in the equipment-finance market is growing, according to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's monthly index for February. The index reached 59.6, compared with January's 59. Despite a cautious view of the global economy, survey participants were optimistic about the industry for 2012. "The current outlook would indicate strong growth in loan and lease demand for equipment finance through 2012," said Russell Nelson, president of Farm Credit Leasing Services.