Construction input prices increased 0.3 percent from January to February and 4.8 percent from a year ago, according to analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

This represents the most rapid yearly growth in construction input prices in more than five years, ABC notes.

“There is growing evidence of inflationary pressures throughout the economy, and construction materials prices are no exception,” says ABC chief economic Anirban Basu. “After declining during the latter half of 2014 and throughout 2015, global commodity prices have begun to stabilize. There are many reasons for this, including a somewhat more stable global economy, decisions by producers to reduce supply, general increases in asset prices and expansionary monetary policy in much of the advanced world.

“Still, contractors should not worry excessively about prospects for massive additional increases in materials prices,” he adds. “The global economy is hardly poised to boom given structural factors like demographics and indebtedness. The U.S. dollar has continued to strengthen, which has helped to keep a lid on commodity price increases. Moreover, energy prices have begun to retrench recently, including oil prices, which fell below $50/barrel over the last few days.”

Basu says if the Trump administration is successful in implementing its proposed $1 trillion infrastructure package, concrete and other materials prices “stand to rise vigorously.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *