Construction report for October shows modest residential improvement

first_imgThe total value of Vermont construction contracts this year through October were down 23 percent as federal funding for highway and bridge construction waned. But both residential and commercial spending showed modest gains after two years of sluggish building in each. Residential was up 16 percent for the year-to-date and commercial was up 12 percent. New Hampshire showed a similar rebound in residential and commercial construction.Meanwhile, total US construction spending increased by 0.7 percent in October, driven largely by growing demand for power projects and public construction, the Associated General Contractors of America noted today in an analysis of new Census Bureau data. The new data, however, indicated continued weakness in many construction categories, including private nonresidential and single family construction, association officials observed.‘Without any upward trend in key private-sector construction components like homes and office buildings, it is hard to feel optimistic about the near future,’ said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. ‘With public construction at risk of cutbacks, it is premature to conclude that construction has awakened from its long nightmare.’Simonson commented that power construction increased by 8.8 percent between September and October at a seasonally adjusted rate, although the total remained 3.9 percent below the year-ago level. Public construction, aided by federal spending on stimulus, military base realignment and Gulf Coast hurricane-control projects, edged up 0.4 percent for the month and 2.2 percent year-over-year.Private nonresidential construction, however, slumped 0.7 percent in October, leaving the total 20.7 percent below the October 2009 figure. All 11 of the Census Bureau’s private nonresidential categories were below year-ago levels, Simonson added, with only private power and transportation showing gains from September.Private residential investment jumped 2.5 percent for the month. However, Simonson cautioned that the apparent leap is attributable to a 3.2 percent advance in new multi-family construction and a 6.2 percent rise in improvements to existing properties, whereas single-family construction sank 1.2 percent for the month.Association officials said that a proposal released today by the Deficit Commission to increase investments in highways, bridges and transit system construction provided some room for optimism. They urged Congress to embrace the transportation proposal, noting it would help the economy over the long run while giving a much-needed boost to short term construction demand.‘The best way to reduce the deficit and simultaneously support a strong and expanding economy is to invest in our aging network of highways, bridges and transit systems,’ said Stephen E. Sandherr. ‘Even as the broader report calls for dramatic reductions in federal spending, it is clear that our country can’t afford to neglect its infrastructure.’View Census Bureau data.last_img read more

Military personnel now included in LICU designation, NCUA announces

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood announced Thursday that military personnel will now be able to count toward a credit union earning the Low-Income Credit Union (LICU) designation. CUNA requested this change in its engagement with NCUA, most recently in a letter sent to Hood in March.The LICU designation means low-income members comprise more than 50% of a federal credit union’s membership, and entitles the credit union to certain statutory benefits, including being able to accept non-member deposits from any source, offering secondary capital accounts, member business lending exemptions and the ability to apply for grants and low-interest loans from NCUA.“We want to thank Chairman Hood because his action will allow more credit unions to leverage the LICU designation to serve low- and moderate-income individuals and communities, which is especially critical as financial first responders work diligently to serve members during the pandemic,” said Nussle. “Chairman Hood’s action will help more credit unions to qualify as low-income credit unions, extending to many military members living on bases the greater financial opportunities and expanded products afforded by this designation.” continue reading »last_img read more

Abortion law in fact still good, says Government

first_imgMedia Release 15 March 2017A poll has found that half of NZ’ers in the 18-40 age bracket believe that women risk harming their mental health as a result of having an abortion.The independent poll commissioned by Family First NZ and carried out by Curia Market Research asked respondents whether they agreed with the following statement: “Women who have abortions risk harming their mental health as a result of the abortion.” Overall, almost half (46%) agreed with the statement, 22% were unsure or didn’t say, and only 33% disagreed. There was little difference between male and female respondents. Significantly, strongest agreement with the statement came from the younger 18-40 age bracket (50%).“This is the unheard discussion around abortion. From personal experience, and from the hundreds of women who have contacted me through the Buttons Project, I know that there is a mental health component to having an abortion – but no-one wants to talk about it. Yet this poll reveals that many people are aware, especially the younger generations. That is a positive,” says Marina Young, spokesperson for Family First NZ and founder of the Buttons Project.“Abortion can harm a women, but pro-abortion groups refuse to acknowledge this, seeing the right to abortion more paramount than the long-term health and welfare of the women involved. We believe women have the right to the best independent information and advice before making a decision that could impact them later in life,” says Mrs Young.A University of Otago study in 2008 found that women who had an abortion faced a 30% increase in the risk of developing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.And a research paper entitled “Does abortion reduce the mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy? A re-appraisal of the evidence” by Professor David Fergusson, John Horwood, and Joseph Boden which was published in the 2013 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry concluded that the evidence shows that abortion was not associated with a reduction in rates of mental health problems, but was associated with increases in risks of anxiety, alcohol and drug misuse, and suicidal behavior. They state: “There is no available evidence to suggest that abortion has therapeutic effects in reducing the mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy. There is suggestive evidence that abortion may be associated with small to moderate increases in risks of some mental health problems.” A meta-analysis of 22 studies and over 877,000 participants over a 14-year period, published in 2011 in the British Journal of Psychiatry, revealed that 81% of females who had an abortion were found to be at an increased risk for mental health problems, including depression, alcohol abuse and suicidal behaviors. The study also revealed that as many as 10% of all mental health problems are directly attributable to abortion. The Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK have recommended updating abortion information leaflets to include details of the risks of depression. They said that consent could not be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information.In a poll of NZ’ers in 2011, the majority of New Zealanders (64%) said that women considering abortion have the right to be fully informed of the medical risks of abortion – and the alternatives.“Family First NZ believes that any attempts to liberalise the laws around abortion in New Zealand would cause more harm than good to women. It is time that the research on the post-abortion mental health outcomes was given equal weight against the pro-abortion claims of ‘benefits’,” says Mrs Young.READ FULL RESULTSENDSLabour Wants To Remove Abortion SafeguardsMedia Release 13 March 2017 Family First NZ is concerned that the Labour party wants to remove safeguards in the current abortion law which are there to protect women and children and introduce extreme abortion laws which has been shown overseas to place women at risk.“Contrary to misrepresentation by pro-abortion groups and politicians, any New Zealand woman who has an abortion under the current legislative guidelines and protections is not committing an illegal act, and is therefore not considered a criminal. To claim otherwise is simply false scaremongering aimed at deceiving people into supporting the introduction of an extreme abortion law in New Zealand. The existing safeguards are there to protect women and children,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.“Abortion is also a health issue – it’s a surgical procedure that has risk factors associated with it. A sound law needs to reflect that reality, and not leave women exposed to harms, such as those recently witnessed in the criminal trial of Kermit Gosnell who was able to operate a dangerous legal abortion facility which resulted in female client death and other atrocities thanks to extreme abortion laws. Is that what the Labour party wants?”“What is really required are laws which protect women from the Gosnells of this world, that promote informed consent and complete information about abortion and abortion-related risks, and that provide women with independent pregnancy counselling so that women can make truly informed decisions from a place of certainty and knowledge,” says Mr McCoskrie.“The good news is that there has been a significant drop in abortions to the lowest number since 1994, and the rate will continue to drop as knowledge of the prenatal development of the unborn child increases, and as an increasingly pro-life younger generation become parents themselves. The ‘bunch of cells’ argument which has driven the right-to-abortion argument is now just ‘flat-earth science’.”“Abortions can harm women – a fact supported by half of New Zealanders – yet pro-abortion groups refuse to acknowledge this, seeing the right to abortion more paramount than the long-term health and welfare of the women,” says Mr McCoskrie.“Contrary to erroneous claims by pro-aborts, the Abortion Supervisory Committee has simply recommended that some of the wording in the Act which is ‘outdated and clumsy’ should be updated, should reflect ‘technological advancements’, and ironically should reinforce ‘safety, and robust consultation processes’. The report does not call for a change to the legal status of the law.”ENDS Forty-year abortion law, described as ‘offensive’, in fact still good, says GovernmentStuff co.nz 17 March 2017Family First Comment: It’s not ‘good” because human life is being killed, but it’s way way better than what Labour and Greens are proposing! The current law also has safeguards which protect women!Justice Minister Amy Adams said “The Government has a busy legislative programme focused on issues that affect large numbers of New Zealanders, such as family and sexual violence, money laundering and vulnerable children to name just a few. We are not currently looking at reforming or re-drafting the abortion law on the basis that it is working broadly as intended.”http://www.chooselife.org.nzA 40-year abortion law that still refers to people with impaired mental capacity as “subnormal”, does not need changing, says the Government.Justice Minister Amy Adams said the law might be outdated, but it was workable and the Government had higher priorities.“The Government has a busy legislative programme focused on issues that affect large numbers of New Zealanders, such as family and sexual violence, money laundering and vulnerable children to name just a few.“We are not currently looking at reforming or re-drafting the abortion law on the basis that it is working broadly as intended,” she said.Adams comments came after the chair of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, Dame Linda Holloway, requested MPs on the Justice and Electoral Select Committee redraft aspects of the law.The statute, which sits under the Crimes Act, was outdated and “offensive” in parts – opening up the committee to lengthy legal challenges by anti-abortion groups using semantics to chip away at its authority.READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/90534269/Forty-year-abortion-law-described-as-offensive-in-fact-still-good-says-Government?cid=app-iPhonelast_img read more