Wright Express Releases Monthly Construction Fuel Consumption Index (FCI)
U.S. Construction Industry Fueling Declined 0.8% Year-Over-Year in September;
Up 0.7% versus Previous Month
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine -- October 22, 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 0.8%
in September 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 decline in the year-over-year results, combined with the first monthly
uptick seen in recent reports, serves as another reminder that the U.S.
construction industry has yet to forge a clear path to recovery,” said Rick
Pomerleau, vice president, corporate development at Wright Express.
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 September 2012, the Wright Express Construction FCI reported
that fuel consumption by U.S. construction companies increased 0.7% versus the
previous month and decreased by 0.8% versus September 2011.
The Wright Express Construction FCI, which is available monthly in advance of
the U.S. Census Bureau figures on construction spending, is available at
Last month’s Wright Express Construction FCI corresponded with decreased
construction spending levels evident in most of the government’s subsequent
construction data releases, which reinforced the short-term picture of a weak
construction market. Construction spending excluding improvements – a good
measure of activity – declined by 0.4% in August, while private residential
construction showed positive growth of 3.0%. 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 0.6% in August.
According to the IHS analysis, the mild rise in the Wright Express Fuel
Consumption Index in September coincides with recent housing statistics, which
suggests 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 increased home
sales in August were driven by economic fundamentals including an improving
economy, low interest rates, and a drop in home sales 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 housing market will continue to improve, as
long as the economy is creating jobs. 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 September 2012 is available at
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, Fleet One, 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 1,300 associates. For more
information about Wright Express, please visit wrightexpress.com.
News media contact:
Wright Express Corporation
Jessica Roy, 207-523-6763
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