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US home construction jumps 157 per cent in July to 109 million

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Aug 19, 2014 6:57 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US home construction jumps 15.7 per cent in July to 1.09 million rate, fastest pace in 8 months WASHINGTON – U.S. home construction rebounded in July, rising to an eight-month high and offering hope that housing has regained momentum after two months of declines.Construction increased 15.7 per cent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million homes, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That was the fastest pace since November and followed declines of 4 per cent in June and 7.4 per cent in May.Applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, also showed strength in July, advancing 8.1 per cent to an annual rate of 1.05 million, after declines of 3.1 per cent in June and 5.1 per cent in May.The July rebound reflected strength in single-family home construction, which rose 8.3 per cent, and in apartment construction, which was up 33 per cent.The strength in July was led by a 44 per cent rise in construction starts in the Northeast. Housing construction was up 29 per cent in the South, recovering from a 26.8 per cent plunge the month before blamed in part on heavy rains in that part of the country. Sales rose 18.6 per cent in the West but fell 24.8 per cent in the Midwest.Economists noted that the July performance was much better than expected, and June was revised significantly higher, both good signs for the future.Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said solid job growth and a recent decline in mortgage rates were helping boost construction. But he said weak wage growth and tight lending standards were still depressing activity, especially among first-time buyers.A report Monday indicated homebuilders are feeling more confident about their sales prospects, a hopeful sign that home construction and sales of newly built homes could pick up after stalling in recent months.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose in August to 55, up two points from a revised 53 for July. That is the third straight monthly increase and put the index at its highest reading since January, when it was 56. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.Builders’ views of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers all increased in August, brightening the outlook.Sales of new homes are running behind last year’s pace. They fell 8.1 per cent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 406,000.A mix of rising home prices, higher mortgage rates and weak wage growth have made it more difficult for potential buyers to buy a newly built home. These factors have particularly depressed demand by first-time buyers.But economists are still looking for a rebound, given the fact that the U.S. economy has been adding jobs at a healthy clip with gains topping 200,000 jobs for six straight months through July.Housing, while still a long way from the boom of the last decade, has been recovering over the past two years. Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the Home Builders. read more

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Terex to sell MHPS to Konecranes but continues talks with Zoomlion about

first_imgTerex Corporation has agreed with Konecranes to mutually terminate a Business Combination Agreement (BCA) the companies entered into on August 10, 2015, without payment of a fee by either party. In connection with the termination of the BCA, Terex has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Material Handling and Port Solutions business (MHPS) to Konecranes for approximately $1.3 billion. The consideration being paid is comprised of $820 million in cash and 19.6 million newly issued shares of Konecranes. MHPS includes Demag Universal Cranes, a range of high-quality cranes and components such as rope and chain hoists, controls and drive solutions for industrial infrastructure applications, used widely mining equpiment manufacturing operations.Upon completion of the transaction, Terex will own approximately 25% of the outstanding shares of Konecranes and have the right to nominate two directors. The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals and the approval of the shareholders of Konecranes, is expected to close in January 2017. The agreement also provides Terex with the ability to continue to pursue discussions with Zoomlion Heavy Industries about a sale of Terex to the Chinese group. Terex has the right to terminate the Konecranes agreement on MHPS on or before May 31, 2016 for a fee of $37 million if Terex and Zoomlion agree on a sale of Terex as a whole.“The sale of the MHPS business to Konecranes is good for our customers, team members and shareholders,” said John Garrison, Terex President and Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction is expected to be accretive to Terex earnings per share and preserves the strategic logic for the original merger of equals. In addition, it will significantly reduce Terex’s debt levels, improves our balance sheet and gives us longer term financial flexibility to invest in our business and buy back shares. As a 25% shareholder of Konecranes, Terex will also be able to share in the dividends, synergies and economic upside of the combined business.”Garrison emphasised, “This new transaction structure offers other substantial benefits to Terex shareholders as well. Importantly, the transaction locks in the benefits of the MHPS sale while preserving the ability for Terex to continue discussions with Zoomlion on a potential sale of the company at $31 per share with the MHPS business or, alternatively, for the sale of Terex without the MHPS business.”last_img read more

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