U.S. building material prices rose 0.5% in August

U.S. prices of building materials rose 0.5% in August (not seasonally adjusted) even as softwood lumber prices decreased 5.2%, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report. Building materials prices have climbed 4.9% through the first eight months of 2022 and 14.3% over the past year. The PPI for goods inputs to residential construction, including energy, decreased 0.9% in August following a 1.5% decline in July. Between June and August, the prices of #2 diesel and unleaded gasoline decreased by 24.1% and 27.9%, respectively, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The price index of services inputs to residential construction was driven 0.2% lower in August – the fourth consecutive monthly decline – by decreases in the building materials wholesaling and retailing indices. The services PPI is 5.0% higher than it was 12 months prior and 32.0% higher than its pre-pandemic level.

Gypsum Building Materials

The PPI for gypsum building materials rose 3.3% in August – the seventh monthly increase in 2022. Prices have increased 11.0% YTD and 19.9% over the last 12 months. Since the start of 2021, the index has increased 38.9%.

Concrete Products

The PPI for ready-mix concrete (RMC) gained 1.6% in August, its fifth consecutive increase and has 21st monthly gain over the past two years. The index has climbed 5.2% over the past three months – the second-largest three-month increase in the series’ 34-year history. The index has climbed 8.1%, year-to-date, the largest YTD August increase over the past three decades.

Softwood Lumber

The PPI for softwood lumber (seasonally adjusted) declined 5.2% in August. Softwood lumber prices have fallen four of the past five months by a total of 37.7% its first increase in four months. Prices have fallen 32.7%, year-to-date, but remain 46.4% above pre-pandemic levels.

Transportation of Freight

The price of truck transportation of freight decreased 1.9% in August, although it is 8.4% higher than it stood at the start of the year. The indices for local and long-distance motor carrying prices declined 0.3% and 2.4%, respectively, over the month. Over the past eight months, the prices truck, rail, and ocean freight transportation have increased 7.2%, 8.4%, and 26.5%, respectively.

Original article