It was a flat month of May for construction materials prices across America. The U.S. Department of Labor is reporting that despite the less than spectacular numbers, materials costs are up 1.6 percent year over year. The June 13, 2014 Producer Price Index notes non-residential construction materials prices fell 0.2 percent for the month but are 1.3 percent higher than at the same time one year ago.
Additionally, crude energy materials prices expanded 2.7 percent in May and are 4.8 percent higher than one year ago. Natural gas prices expanded by 3.4 percent in May after declining significantly during the previous two months. Overall, the nation's wholesale goods prices remained flat in May and have increased 2.5 percent year-over-year.
"With construction spending expanding only in fits and starts and given recent evidence of disappointing global economic performance, it comes as little surprise that most construction materials prices are not rising," said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. "This price dynamic can impact the prices of other materials, which means that materials price inflation may ensue even in the absence of a meaningful pickup in non-residential construction activity."
Seven of the 11 key construction inputs did not experience price increases for the month including the prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding which slid 2.1 percent for the month and are down 5.8 percent from the same time last year, prices for plumbing fixtures, fabricated structural metal products and concrete products prices fell 0.1 percent in May but have increased 3.4 percent from the same time last year.
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