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U.S. construction materials prices rise in April
[May 15, 2024]

According to the latest Producer Price Index report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the PPI rose 0.5 percent in April.

The producer price index (PPI) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that construction materials prices were up 0.3 percent month-over-month in April on a seasonally adjusted basis. In addition, the change in construction materials prices for March was revised from a 0.1 percent decline to a 0.1 percent increase. The index of components and materials for construction was up 1.7 percent from its year-earlier level.

Overall prices for processed goods for intermediate demand were up 0.6 percent for the month. The volatile prices of processed fuels and lubricants rose 1.6 percent. The overall processed goods for intermediate demand index was 0.5 percent lower than its year-earlier level.

Softwood Lumber showed a big surge from March to April, up 6.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis. Still, softwood lumber is still down 4.3 percent for the year, unadjusted.

On the same annual basis, bolts, nuts and screws showed the biggest increase, up 9.4 percent.

Here are the numbers across 10 key, industry commodities:

According to analysis from Associated Builders and Contractors, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group, overall construction input prices are 2.3% higher than a year ago, while nonresidential construction input prices are 2.2% higher.

¡°Construction input prices jumped half a percentage point higher in April and have increased 3.5% over the first four months of the year,¡± said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. ¡°While iron, steel, asphalt and gypsum product prices fell in April, oil and copper prices surged, driving the monthly increase. Rising input prices will put pressure on profits at a time when nearly 1 in 4 contractors expect their margins to contract over the next two quarters, according to ABC's Construction Confidence Index.

¡°Perhaps more importantly for contractors, the overall Producer Price Index reading for final demand goods and services increased 0.5% in April,¡± said Basu. ¡°This is yet another sign that inflation is accelerating and suggests that interest rates are set to stay higher for longer.¡±
The full current BLS (the Bureau of Labor Statistics )  report can be found here.