Gypsum Prices Down 10% Since 2018 Peak


The downward trend in prices paid for gypsum products continued in February, as prices declined 5.1% (seasonally adjusted) according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices paid for gypsum products have fallen 8.6% and 9.8% since the start of 2019 and August 2018, respectively. The trend is notable as prices have fallen five of six months since the most recent peak last August. In addition, the year-to-date decrease is the largest in nearly a decade.[1]

Overall, the price of goods used in residential construction increased 0.8% in February (not seasonally adjusted)–the first increase in five months. Softwood lumber (+2.3%) and OSB (+4.3%) offset the large decline in prices paid for gypsum products.[2]

Diesel fuel prices rose 7.2% in February, snapping a two-month trend during which prices fell 30.0%. Prices remain much lower than their most recent peak, but transmission to building materials prices (if any) by means of lower freight costs is unlikely to be seen in the data until March.

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete decreased 0.5%. The current index reading of 271.4 is its lowest since April 2018.

[1] Seasonally adjusted data on gypsum products prices has only been available since 2012. Data for prior years are not seasonally adjusted.

[2] The February PPI reading for OSB was not released with the rest of the data. The 4.3% increase was estimated using January and February data from Random Lengths.

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