homepage home
subscribe to Mountainstates Construction magazine subscribe
newsletters free e-newsletter
advertise
industry jobs industry jobs
Mcgraw Hill Construction
Mountainstates Construction Logo
Order Your RISK FREE Subscription
comment

Key Construction Materials Prices Drop Slightly in May

Text size: A A

The amount contractors pay for a range of key construction materials edged down 0.3% in May and climbed by only 2.3% from a year earlier, according to an analysis of producer price index figures released last week by the Associated General Contractors of America. Meanwhile, the amount contractors charge to construct projects remained largely flat for the month and is up only between 3.1% and 4.3% for the year.

----- Advertising -----

“The slowdown in construction input price increases is a rare and possibly short-lived event,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, noting that the last time prices rose so slowly from a year earlier was in February 2010. “Meanwhile, some of the price increases we are seeing for materials like gypsum and lumber reflect a strengthening new residential and commercial remodeling construction.”

Simonson noted that prices for a number of key construction materials declined between April and May. The price index for diesel fuel dropped 3.6% in May and is down 0.2% compared to last year. The index for copper and brass mill shapes declined 1.6% for the month and 8.3% since May 2011. Likewise, aluminum mill products dropped in price for the month, by 1.9% and fell 9.0% from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the index for gypsum products increased by 1.2% in May and 13.6% compared to last year while lumber prices rose by 2.2% for the month and 7.0% since May 2011.

 The price indexes for finished nonresidential buildings, which measure what contractors estimate they would charge to put up new structures, mostly inched up for the past month and are now beginning to outpace increases in construction materials prices, Simonson noted.

The index for new industrial buildings actually declined 0.1% in May and is up only 3.1% for the year. The index for new office construction inched up 0.2% for the month and 3.4% for the year. The price for new warehouse construction also increased by 0.2% in May and rose 4.2% compared to May 2011. And the price for new school construction was up 0.1% for the month and 4.3% for the year.

The construction economist added that materials prices are likely to remain moderate for the time being, based on recent reports and future market pricing for diesel fuel, copper and steel. Simonson attributed the slowdown to weakening demand from Europe, as well as China and other developing nations.

Keywords:

----- Advertising -----
Reader Photos
Photos from ENR Mountain States Photo Showcase
Dodge Lead Center
Search for local construction projects OR CALL 877-234-4246 and get a FREE Lead Now!
Search by Project Type & State





----- Advertising -----
 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.