Construction materials prices declined 0.7 percent in July, according to the Producer Price Index (PPI) report the United States Department of Labor released on August 14. Construction materials prices are down 0.6 percent for the year; this is the first year-over-year decline since November 2009, when nonresidential construction spending was at its lowest point.
Nonresidential construction materials prices also are down, falling 0.9 percent for the month and 1.2 percent for the year.
Prices for iron and steel dropped 3.7 percent for the month and are 9.7 percent lower year-over-year. Softwood lumber prices fell 3.7 percent in July, but are still 5.9 percent higher than in July 2011. Steel mill product prices decreased 2.8 percent for the month and are down 5.9 percent for the year. Prices for fabricated structural metal products slipped 1 percent for the month and are up 0.1 percent during the past 12 months.
Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding surged 5.4 percent for the month, but are still down 3.8 percent year over year. Nonferrous wire and cable prices increased 0.5 percent for the month, but are down 8.9 percent from July 2011. Prices for concrete products are up 0.3 percent for the month and are 1.8 percent higher year over year. Prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings increased 0.1 percent in July and are 1.2 percent more expensive than one year ago.
Crude energy materials prices increased 0.6 percent in July, the first monthly increase since February 2012. Year over year, crude energy materials prices are down 19.1 percent. Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices increased 0.3 percent for the month and are 0.5 percent higher than in July 2011.
To view the previous PPI report, click here.