The nation’s construction materials prices increased for the first time in four months, rising 0.9 percent in August, according to the Sept. 13 Producer Price Index report by the U.S. Labor Department. Year over year, construction materials prices are up 1 percent. Nonresidential construction materials prices were 1 percent higher for the month and are up 0.7 percent from August 2011.
Most construction materials categories experienced price increases. Softwood lumber prices jumped 3.4 percent in August and are 7.8 percent higher than one year ago. Prices for nonferrous wire and cable products increased 0.5 percent for the month, but have declined 6.4 percent during the last twelve months. Concrete product prices rose 0.5 percent in August and are 2.1 percent higher compared to the same time last year. Iron and steel prices increased 0.3 percent for the month, but are down 9.2 percent year over year. Prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings inched up 0.1 percent in August and are 1.2 percent higher than one year ago.
In contrast, steel mill prices dropped 2.5 percent for the month and are 8.2 percent lower than in August 2011. Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding fell 1.8 percent in August and are 5 percent lower than the same time last year. Prices for fabricated structural metal products slipped 0.2 percent last month and remain unchanged from twelve months ago.
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