Wright Express Releases Monthly Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI) Results

  Wright Express Releases Monthly Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI)
  Results

  U.S. Construction Industry Fueling Declined 2.2% Year-Over-Year in August;
                       Down 2.1% versus Previous Month

Business Wire

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine -- October 01, 2012

Wright Express Corporation (NYSE: WXS), a leading global provider of
value-based business payment processing and information management solutions,
in collaboration with IHS (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of
information and analytics, today released results of its Wright Express
Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI), which indicated a decrease of 2.2%
in August versus its level the previous year.

The Wright Express 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.

“The results of the August 2012 Fuel Consumption Index reflect the continued
struggle for growth in the U.S. construction industry,” said Rick Pomerleau,
vice president, corporate development at Wright Express. “While in recent
months we saw somewhat consistent FCI growth year-over-year and nearly flat
growth in July, the decline in August serves as a reminder that the economy
has yet to stabilize.”

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 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 August 2012, the Wright Express Construction FCI reported
that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies decreased by 2.2% versus
August 2011 and also declined by 2.1% versus the previous month.

The Wright Express Construction FCI, which is available monthly in advance of
the U.S. Census Bureau figures on construction spending, is available at
www.wrightexpress.com/fci.

Last month’s Wright Express Construction FCI corresponded with decreased
construction spending levels evident in most of the government’s subsequent
construction data releases. Construction spending excluding improvements – a
good measure of activity – decreased by 0.2% in July; however, one positive
segment was private residential construction, which rose by 1.6%. August
housing permit statistics mirrored the declining Fuel Consumption Index by
falling 1.0% in August to an annual rate of 803,000. Housing starts did climb
to their second highest level since October 2008 with an increase of 2.3% in
August. Total construction put-in-place decreased by 0.9% in July.

IHS Analysis

According to the IHS analysis, the decline for the Wright Express Construction
FCI in August coincides with difficulties for the U.S. construction industry,
but recent housing statistics suggest modest improvement. Existing home sales
jumped 7.8% in August, which is the best figure since May 2010. Although there
were some larger increases in 2009 and 2010, those were boosted by tax
credits, while this month’s increase was driven by economic fundamentals
including an improving economy, low interest rates, and a drop in the
cancellation rate.

Normal economic conditions are still at least a couple of years away even
though the housing market is expected to see some improvement this year. The
rise of home prices in recent months is due to a rising demand by investors,
low interest rates, and a drop in the proportion of distressed sales. Any gain
in prices is good news because the price gains reduce the number of homeowners
with “underwater” mortgages. The current economic outlook, however, is for a
modest recovery that lasts three to four years, not the sharp upswing that
characterizes most housing recoveries.

The Wright Express Construction FCI for August 2012 is available at
www.wrightexpress.com/fci.

About Wright Express

Wright Express is a leading provider of value-based, business payment
processing and information management solutions. The Company’s fleet,
corporate and prepaid payment solutions provide its more than 350,000
customers with unparalleled security and control across a wide spectrum of
business sectors. The Company’s operations include Wright Express Financial
Services, Pacific Pride, rapid! PayCard, Wright Express Prepaid Cards
Australia, Wright Express Fuel Cards Australia and CorporatePay Limited,
England, as well as a majority equity position in UNIK S.A, Brazil. Wright
Express and its subsidiaries employ more than 900 associates. For more
information about Wright Express, please visit wrightexpress.com.

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Contact:

Wright Express Corporation
Jessica Roy, 207-523-6763
Jessica_Roy@wrightexpress.com
 
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