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Associated Builders and Contractors has released its Producer Price Index (PPI) report for December, which reveals that national construction materials prices declined 0.1 percent in December and 1.3 percent higher than a year ago.
Average annual prices in 2012 were 1.9 percent higher than 2011 prices.
Nonresidential construction prices dropped 0.3 percent in December and are up 0.8 percent year-over-year. Annual prices were up 1.7 percent compared to 2011.
Despite the decline, prices of several construction materials rose last month. Iron and steel prices increased 0.8 percent for the month, but were 8.4 percent lower year-over-year. Steel mill product increased 0.9 percent in December, but were down 7.9 percent year-over-year. Prices for nonferrous wire and cable increased 0.6 percent for the month, but were 1.7 percent lower year-over-year. Prices for fabricated structural metal products increased 0.3 percent for the month and were 0.6 percent higher year-over-year. Prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings increased 0.3 percent in December and are up 1.7 percent year-over-year.
Softwood lumber prices increased 2.1 percent in December and are up 17.3 percent year-over- year. Prices for concrete products increased 0.6 percent for the month and are up 2.4 percent year-over-year. Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding decreased 1.1 percent in December and are down 0.6 percent year-over-year.
Crude energy materials prices increased 7.2 percent in December, driven by a 9.4-percent increase in crude petroleum prices. Year-over-year, crude energy materials prices are down 4.5 percent.
Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices decreased 0.2 percent in December, but are 1.3 percent higher year-over-year. Annually, 2012 wholesale prices were 1.9 percent higher than 2011 prices.