Only three of the 11 key construction material categories saw prices expand in March, but that was enough to show an increase in material prices as a whole. According to the Department of Labor’s April 11 producer price index, construction material prices increased 0.5 percent last month and are up 1.1 percent from last March.
“Despite the increase in materials prices, this report does not signal a period of much higher inflation,” Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu says. “While it is true that there were significant increases in overall monthly inflation for both the broader economy and for construction, only a handful of categories were actually associated with a meaningful uptick in prices.”
The nation’s wholesale goods prices dropped a slight 0.1 percent in March but saw a 1.7 percent increase over the past year. “With respect to the broader economy, much of the inflation was related to food, which likely is a result of meteorological impacts,” Basu says.