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U.S. Lumber and Steel Products Lead Building Materials Prices Lower
[Nov. 17, 2023]

According to the latest Producer Price Index report, the price level of inputs to residential construction less energy (i.e., building materials) declined 0.1% in October (not seasonally adjusted) following a 0.2% increase in September. The index has increased 1.0%, year-to-date, marking the smallest YTD gain through October since it fell 0.1% over the first 10 months of 2019.

The Producer Price Index for all final demand goods decreased 1.4% in October after increasing 0.9% in September (SA). More than 80% of the decline resulted from a 15.3% decrease in gasoline prices. The PPI for final demand services was unchanged over the month.

Gypsum Building Materials

The PPI for gypsum building materials edged slightly lower in October. Gypsum building materials prices last increased in March 2023 and have declined 3.5% in the seven months since (NSA). Prices are now 1.4% lower than they were in October 2022.

Year-to-date through October, the index for gypsum building materials has fallen 1.6%. In contrast, the index surged 10.9% and 17.9% over the first 10 months of 2022 and 2021. The YTD October increase has averaged 2.8% since 1995.

Softwood Lumber

The PPI for softwood lumber decreased 2.8% in October following a 1.3% increase in September (SA). The index has fallen 12.1% over the last year and is 52.3% lower than the record high reached in 2021.