Mixed construction outlook for wire rod

Feb 21, 2013 | 05:57 PM | Samuel Frizell

Tags  construction, steel, American Wire Producers Association, Ken Simonson, Samuel Frizell

ORLANDO, Fla. — The domestic wire rod market will continue to get a boost from growth in private and residential construction, but larger infrastructure projects will be a little slower in getting off the ground this year, market participants say.

Positive growth is being seen in smaller construction projects, with housing permits increasing 1.8 percent in January to an annual rate of 925,000, the highest level since June 2008, according to attendees at the American Wire Producers Association (AWPA) annual meeting in Orlando, citing U.S. Census Bureau data. Spending on nonresidential construction, however, grew only 1 percent in 2012 from the previous year.

"Just this morning, we’ve already gotten some mixed news that I view as largely positive," Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, told the AWPA meeting Feb. 20. He said that while housing starts and building permit figures show there was a pullback on the multifamily side, there continues to be "spectacular" gains in both permits and starts for single-family homes.....

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