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In what appears to be an ongoing trend, the cost of construction materials prices increased by 1.4 percent in April, according to the May 12 Department of Labor’s Producer Price Index (PPI) report. Prices are now 7.1 percent higher from the same time last year.
Metal commodity prices continue to edge higher. Iron and steel prices were up 1.3 percent for the month and are up 10.7 percent from April 2010. Steel mill product prices increased by 2.2 percent in April and are 13 percent higher than the same time last year. Nonferrous wire and cable prices jumped 2.7 percent for the month and are up 11.8 percent on a year-over-year basis. Fabricated structural metal products rose 0.8 percent for the month and are 5.4 percent higher than April 2010 levels. Prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings were flat for the month and are up 1.9 percent year-over-over.
Concrete product prices inched up 0.2 percent for the month and are unchanged on a year-over-year basis. Similarly, prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding increased by 0.2 percent for the month but were still down 0.3 percent from April 2010. In contrast, softwood lumber prices fell 3.8 percent for the month and are down 7 percent from the same time last year.
Crude energy prices climbed 4.3 percent for the month as natural gas prices soared 9.4 percent. Year-over-year, crude energy prices are up 20.6 percent. Overall, the nation’s wholesale good prices were up 0.8 percent for the month and 6.6 percent higher from April 2010.
To view the previous PPI report, click here.