Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New housing starts rise March over February!

National Association of Home Builders released figures today showing that housing starts were up 7.2 over February of this year.  Yeehaw. 

The International Business Times reported "Regionally, the Midwest saw the most impressive gains, rising 32.3 percent. The West also saw double-digits gains of 27.6 percent. The Northeast experienced a more modest 5.4 percent gain, while the South saw housing starts decline by 3.3 percent.

The U.S. Commerce Department reports that building permits were also up, rising 11.2 percent. In fact, the only region that didn't post a gain was the Northeast. The West was up by 37.1 percent. Single-family permits rose just 5.7 percent, while multifamily permits rose 25.2 percent . However, this is still 20% behind March 2010 rate.
Photo Courtesy of Forbes Construction, Londonderry, VT

Improvement is certainly better than no improvement.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

But, relative to the other countries, fuel prices in US are low

As a follow up to yesterday's article on US fuel prices, one must bring our prices in to perspective.  Gas prices paid in many other countries are much higher than we are accustom to.  Our neighbors to the north, in Toronto are paying an average of $4.96 for regular gas according to AIRINC, a Cambridge, MA based consulting group. 

In most parts of Europe, gas prices per gallon paid are over $8.00 per gallon reports AIRINC.  But in some oil rich producing countries, government subsidies have left prices for gas below $1.00 for regualar grade.

Everyone agrees predicting where gas prices will go in the coming months is a crap shoot at best.  In 2008 when prices hit the highest levels in the summer, they quickly fell to under $2.00 a gallon by year end.

Hopefully the same thing will happen in the coming months and we can avoid higher prices for the summer!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fuel Prices effecting cost of moving

Right now, we are seeing the fuel surcharge on the cost of household goods moves running at 13% to 14%; higher than its been for a long time.  And as we approach the busier summer months and peak travel months for vacationers, the cost of fuel will only increase.

In 2008, the fuel surcharge went as high as 18%!  Och.  The the statistics above the average retail price of diesel nationwide in October of 2008 was $3.90, right now its $4.10 and we have another month to go to the traditional time when fuel prices go up for the summer.

However. some predictions indicate that fuel prices may have topped out.  Guess we will see as we get closer to the summer season.  At any rate, the cost of moving has gone up with the fuel costs and will not likely go down this summer.

CRS does a lot of auto shipping as well, and the cost of shipping vehicles just as everything else having to do with transportation has gone up a lot in recent months.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Where is the job market improving?

The new jobs report shows average employment gains running at 258,000!  Where are most of the job gains in the country?  I know that this information is important to us at CRS in running our business, and assists us in where to concentrate our marketing for move management services.  

In February, non farm payroll employment improved in 35 states and declined in 14 states reports Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

"The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred
in California (+96,500), followed by Pennsylvania (+23,700), 
Florida and Texas (+22,700 each), and Illinois (+17,600). South Carolina
experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase 
in employment (+0.9 percent), followed by California and 
Delaware (+0.7 percent each)and Oregon and 
Rhode Island (+0.6 percent each)."
It's great to see California and and Florida on the rebound since 
these two states were so hard it. At CRS these have been two key 
states for us in volume in past years.  We have seen a rebound in new 
customers calling us for moves this year, and in 
particular the last two months.