Construction firms are hiring more people in the US, while the government is slashing public spending.
What’s driving this boom?
The answer, it turns out, is the Federal Reserve.
With interest rates still at historic lows, many of America’s biggest construction firms are taking advantage of cheap financing and a massive expansion of federal contracts.
The Fed has cut the federal funding for construction projects by $300bn since December 2015.
It’s now paying a record $1.8tn in interest on those debts.
It is also providing more and more aid to big construction firms, as they push ahead with construction projects.
More than half of the federal construction contracts in the United States are now awarded to firms that are owned by private equity firms, according to a report by Moody’s Analytics.
More: The Federal Reserve is buying up more than 3,000 of America ‘s biggest construction companies for $400bn over the next three years, according a report.
The report, commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce, shows that private equity-backed firms are bidding on more than 50% of all US construction contracts since 2014, a growth rate that has outpaced that of all other sectors of the economy.
A major source of money for big construction is the $1tn (£800bn) “purchase” of the American Electric Power Co (AEP) and Southern Company, the world’s two largest electricity generators, which were bought by the Fed and the Department of Energy in January 2017.
Construction firms are also taking advantage by buying up the assets of government-owned buildings and the assets and liabilities of local governments.
A key feature of the Fed’s purchase of AEP and Southern is its ability to make its loans to private contractors for the cost of building the projects.
This means that the Federal Government is paying a significant portion of the construction costs, and a much smaller portion of its operating expenses.
The Federal Reserve also owns some of the largest construction companies.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is one of the most powerful agencies in the federal government, but it is the Bureau of Economic Analysis that runs the construction sector, overseeing and overseeing a massive array of infrastructure projects.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) oversees Fannie Mae, the mortgage lending agency.
And the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees the federal housing department.
The three agencies control a vast array of construction projects that are often run by the same companies, and they work together to manage the projects so that construction workers have access to decent pay and decent benefits.
It’s all part of the Federal Construction Management Corporation, a government agency that has the power to buy up construction assets from private companies and put them into the hands of the public.
For example, in 2018, the agency bought up an apartment building in New York City for $3.7bn.
More: How a ‘pump and dump’ scheme allowed a US company to buy an entire skyscraper for $7.7m.
In its latest report, Moody’s said the Federal Housing Administration (FHSA) was “solving one of Americas most complex housing finance challenges by buying billions of dollars worth of properties from private and public investors.”
It said the new government program would make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, and it would also help make construction more sustainable and sustainable for communities.
“The Federal Housing Agency’s new program is designed to help homeowners refinance mortgages and lower interest rates and costs for taxpayers,” it said.
“By enabling borrowers to refract mortgage debt from a default to a repayment, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHMC) can help the Government achieve its objective of reducing defaults by helping more homeowners refract their loans.”
More from the BBC:The FHMA said that while the agency’s new programs would help refinance some borrowers, “these refinancing options do not include borrowers who do not meet the FHA’s minimum requirements for refinance and will be subject to additional regulations”.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the largest federal agency in the country, and is responsible for overseeing emergency preparedness and response.
Its chief, Craig Fugate, has described the Fed-led “pump-and-dump” of mortgage debt as “the greatest threat to our economy since the Great Depression”.
It’s a similar story for many of the other big construction projects, with construction companies buying up properties for pennies on the dollar, or paying the developers to build for them.
The Fed’s acquisition of AEMCO, for example, could have been a much more lucrative deal than the $3bn the Fed paid AEMCo for the $800bn in mortgage debt that AEMCorp had to sell.AEMCorp bought $300m worth of homes for $600m (£405m) to repay the Fed, according of Moody’s.
But AEM Corp is