US construction input costs edged 0.3% lower in Nov

ConDig (13-Dec-23).  US construction input prices dipped 0.3% lower in November compared with the month prior, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data.

Compared with the same a year earlier, input costs were down 0.8%.

Despite the decrease, inputs to construction are still nearly 39% higher than at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For nonresidential, construction input prices nudged down 0.3% month-on month and 0.4% lower than a year earlier. 

Prices decreased in 2 of the 3 energy subcategories last month. Crude petroleum input prices were down 9.5%, while unprocessed energy materials prices were 3.2% lower. Natural gas prices surged 24.1% in November.

“Construction input prices declined for the second straight month in November,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “While much of the recent decline is due to record domestic oil production and the resulting precipitous decline in gas and diesel prices, other commodities like iron and steel and lumber products are currently more affordable than they were at the same time last year.

“Falling, or at the very least stable, input prices should help to control construction cost increases in the coming quarters. This is a welcome development for an industry still dealing with extraordinarily elevated financing costs and rising labor costs due to ongoing worker shortages.”