Worker Shortage Raises Flags for the Construction Industry
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. homebuilders are intentionally limiting sales due to widespread labor shortages and supply-chain issues. That’s concerning for the construction industry, particularly as the government prepares for a wave of infrastructure spending.
D.R. Horton Inc., which carries the biggest weighting in the S&P Supercomposite Homebuilding Index, earlier reported weaker-than-expected orders as materials and labor scarcity interfered with new home production. The company and fellow builder PulteGroup Inc., which has also been grappling with supply-chain problems, are both restricting sales.
D.R. Horton shares climbed as much as 5.2% Tuesday, the most since March, as it reported that prices rose 20% from the prior year while new home demand remains “very strong.” On its conference call, the firm added that it was still restricting the pace of its sales orders, but to a “lesser extent.”
Infrastructure stocks have rallied as President Joe Biden prepares to sign the biggest U.S. infrastructure package in decades. The Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (ticker PAVE) closed at an all-time high on Monday, and its 36% rally this year has outpaced the S&P 500’s 25% climb. The S&P homebuilder index has also outperformed the broader benchmark, while the S&P 500 Industrials Index is currently at a record on as well.
Meanwhile, wages are climbing across the board and James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, earlier flagged a tight labor market. Construction challenges offer little to soothe inflation fears.
This story was based on a post on Bloomberg’s Markets Live blog. The observations are those of the blogger and not intended as investment advice. For more markets analysis, go to MLIV.
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