Construction materials prices dip 0.4 percent in October

Updated Nov 20, 2012

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National construction materials prices fell 0.4 percent in October, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s producer price index (PPI). This was the first time in three months these prices have decreased.

Materials prices are 2 percent higher year-over-year. Nonresidential construction materials prices decreased 0.5 percent for October, but were 1.8 percent higher than one year ago.

Iron and steel prices decreased 3.8 percent in October and are 11.8 percent lower year-over-year. Prices for steel mill products also decreased for October, dropping 1.9 percent, and are 8.5 percent lower year-over-year.

Softwood lumber prices decreased 2.7 percent for October, but are up 6.7 percent year-over-year. Prices for fabricated structural metal products were unchanged for October and have increased 0.6 percent year-over-year.Several construction materials increased in price for the month.

Prices for nonferrous wire and cable increased 1.4 percent for October and are 2.6 percent higher year-over-year. Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding increased 0.7 percent in October but experienced a 1.9-percent decrease year-over-year.

Plumbing fixtures and fitting prices increased 0.4 percent for October and are up 1.8 percent year-over-year. Prices for concrete products increased 0.2 percent for October and increased 2.6 percent year-over-year.

Crude energy materials prices increased 1.3 percent in October, primarily due to a 9.5-percent gain in natural gas prices. Crude energy materials prices decreased 4.8 percent year-over-year.

Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices slipped 0.2 percent in October but increased 2.3 percent year-over-year.

To view a full report from Associated Builders and Contractors on the Producer Price Index for October, click here.