Construction costs edge lower in Sept

ConDig (10-Sept-20).  US construction input prices dipped 0.6% in August compared with the month prior, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

The association said that analysis of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data showed that nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.4% for the month.

Despite the slight dip, construction input prices are still 20.8% higher compared with a year ago, while nonresidential construction input prices are up 21.6% over the same period.

The overall decline in material prices in September was driven by a 27% drop in softwood lumber and 10% fall in crude petroleum.

The price of natural gas has experienced the largest year-over-year increase, rising 132.2%, followed by the aggregate price of steel mill products, which increased 123.1%. 

Iron and steel prices have nearly doubled over the past year, increasing 95.2%. The prices of unprocessed energy materials and crude petroleum were also up, rising 79.2% and 74.8%, respectively.

“Some of the recent setbacks in global supply chain recovery relate to the dislocating impacts of the delta variant, but there are other forces at work, including government policy and geopolitics,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu.

He added that while supply chain disruptions, input shortages and high prices are likely to persist next year, the laws of economics suggest that project owners and the contractors who work on their behalf will benefit from some price relief at some point next year.

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