Building Materials Price Growth Slows in August


Prices paid for goods used in residential construction decreased by 0.8% in August (not seasonally adjusted) according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Building materials prices have declined an average of 0.1% per month over the last 12 months, compared to an average monthly increase of 0.8% during the same period 2017-2018. The price of goods used in residential construction has risen 2.0% in 2019, much less than the 4.7% year-to-date increase experienced in 2018.

The PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices fell 1.2% (not seasonally adjusted) in August—the index’s fourth decline in five months. Prices paid for softwood lumber were 11.6% lower than they were in August 2018.

The price index for gypsum products increased 0.5% in August (seasonally adjusted). Although gypsum prices have increased 2.7% over the last two months, gypsum products cost 8.4% less than they did one year ago. Prices have fallen 3.6% year-to-date.

The price indexes for lumber and plywood, goods used in residential maintenance and repair, and prepared asphalt and tar roofing products changed -1.2%, -0.8%, and +0.3%, respectively, over the month.

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