For the first time in nine months, March construction input prices rose on a monthly basis. According to Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Producer Price Index, input prices expanded 0.9 percent in March but are still down 3.4 percent year-over-year.

Nonresidential construction input prices expanded 1 percent for the month but are down 3.5 percent from a year ago.

“Despite the rather profound percentage gain in oil prices and the overall nonresidential construction material price increase, rapid material price inflation remains unlikely going forward,” says ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “There are a number of reasons for this, but perhaps the most important is the ongoing sluggishness of the global economy. Though we just entered the second quarter, the International Monetary Fund has already downgraded its outlook for current year global growth twice. World output is only expected to expand 3.2 percent this year.”

Seven key input prices rose in February on a monthly basis, including those for iron and steel. Prices in that category rose 1.6 percent month-over-month but have declined 14.7 percent year-over-year.

Four key input prices declined for the month, including fabricated structural metal products. They declined 0.1 percent month-over-month and are down 2.4 percent year-over-year.