News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Construction Materials Production Slips in November; Up Slightly for 2013
AGC of America / December 17, 2013
The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods fell 0.5%, not seasonally adjusted (-0.1%, seasonally adjusted), in November and edged up just 0.7% over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported December 13. The PPI for inputs to construction—a weighted average of the cost of all materials used in construction plus items consumed by contractors such as diesel fuel—also dropped 0.5% for the month and rose 1.1% year-over-year. The PPIs for inputs to different types of construction all declined for the month and increased only slightly year-over-year: residential, -0.3% and 1.5%; commercial structures, -0.4% and 1.0%; total nonresidential, -0.6% and 0.7%; industrial structures, -0.4% and 0.6%; and other nonresidential, -0.8% and 0.5%.
Inputs that contributed to the monthly decrease and year-over-year moderation included: diesel fuel, -3.9% in November and -5.6% over 12 months; copper and brass mill shapes, -1.1% and -6.0%; aluminum mill shapes, 0 and -4.3%; and asphalt felt and coatings, -3.5% and -1.2%. Items with 12-month price declines despite small increases in November included: steel mill products, 0.8% and -0.6%; architectural coatings, 0.1% and -1.0%; and plastic construction products, 0.4% and -1.0%. Two indexes fell for the month but still jumped year-over-year: gypsum products, -1.6% and 14%; and insulation materials, -0.1% and 8.2%. The PPI for lumber and plywood soared in both periods: 1.4% and 13%. PPIs for new nonresidential construction and for subcontractors varied for the month but all rose year-over-year: offices, 0 in November and 2.7% over 12 months; warehouses, 0.9% and 2.9%; health care construction, -0.2% and 3.0%; schools, 0.1% and 3.3%; and industrial buildings, 0.1% and 4.1%. PPIs for new, repair and maintenance work on nonresidential buildings by plumbing contractors rose 0.2% and 4.3%; concrete contractors, 0.1% and 2.9%; electrical contractors, 0 and 1.8%; and roofing contractors, -0.6% and 1.3%.