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 US Building materials prices rise again in March
[April 15, 2024]

The index for inputs to residential construction¡ªrepresenting building materials¡ªincreased for the fifth straight month, according to the most recent Producer Price Index (PPI) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The index posted a 0.21% increase in March, following more significant growth in February (+0.54%) and January (1.25%).

In its analysis of PPI data, the NAHB said while the rate of growth is slowing, the index for inputs to residential construction is growing at a faster rate than 2023. The average monthly change for the index in 2023 was 0.15%. The last time the index did not post growth in the March period was 2019.

On an annual basis, the index for inputs to residential construction was up 2.22%, essentially flat after 2.23% annual growth in February.

The seasonally-adjusted index for softwood lumber rose in March for the first time since July 2023, up 1.9% on a month-over-month basis. On an annual basis, softwood lumber prices fell 6.76%.

Softwood Lumber prices increased on a month-over-month basis for the first time since July of 2023, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the NAHB, March was the 17th straight month of annual declines in lumber prices. Compared to March of 2020, the PPI for lumber was 5.98% higher.

For gypsum building materials, the non-seasonally adjusted PPI increased 2.24% in March, representing the second consecutive month of growth. The index reached a new high in March was 1.33% higher than March of 2023.

The seasonally-adjusted PPI for final demand goods increased 0.12% in March; February growth was upwardly revised to 1.17%.