Monthly Construction Fuel Consumption Index Results Rise

February 23, 2012

Wright Express Data Show U.S. Construction Industry Fueling Down 3.4 Percent Year-Over-Year in January; Down 2.1 Percent vs. Previous Month

Business payment processing concern and IHS today released results of the Wright Express Construction Fuel Consumption Index, which indicated a decrease of 3.4 percent in January versus its level the previous year.

These numbers concern national fuel consumption statistics for the construction industry and reflect current construction activity in the United States. Wright Express worked with IHS to capture and analyze transaction data from its closed loop network of more than 180,000 fuel and vehicle maintenance locations, including over 90 percent of the domestic retail fuel locations and 45,000 vehicle maintenance locations. With this data, the Wright Express Construction FCI can be used to identify emerging trends within the construction industry and the national economy.

The analysis of the recently released construction data shows mild improvement for the construction industry. There were 21,000 nonresidential sector jobs added in January, and total construction put-in-place expanded 1.5 percent in December. Construction spending excluding improvements – a better measure of activity – was up 1.8 percent.

According to the Wright Express Construction FCI, a full recovery is still a long way off, but the construction industry is expected to improve in 2012. Additionally, while continued infrastructure spending is expected to decline moderately over the course of 2012 as state and local governments are faced with budgetary constraints, it increased again in December by 1.1%.

According to the IHS analysis, the January result of the Wright Express numbers indicates that the state of the U.S. construction industry may not be as positive as recent construction data suggests. While the seasonally-adjusted index was nearly flat in December and fell in January, some construction industry data have shown growth in recent months.


Photo: Orin Zebest