Building Materials Prices Hold Steady in October
Building materials prices have declined an average of 0.2% per month over the last 12 months, and the price of goods used in residential construction has risen 1.7% in 2019. Not only is that price growth less than one-third the pace of increases in 2018, it is the slowest year-to-date growth through October since 2015.
The PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices increased 0.3% (not seasonally adjusted) in October, a modest change relative to the 3.8% increase seen in September. Prices have been relatively stable over the last 12 months–increasing 0.9% over that period—and are 3.0% higher than they were in January 2019.
The price index for gypsum products increased 1.4% in October after advancing 0.3% in September (seasonally adjusted). Gypsum products prices declined by 6.2% over the first six months of 2019 but have increased 4.5% since. Even after the recent increase, however, prices are 3.3% lower than they were at the start of 2018.
Prices paid for ready-mix concrete rose 0.1% in October (seasonally adjusted) after falling 0.6% in September (seasonally adjusted).
The regional indexes for the Northeast (-0.5%), Midwest (-1.4%), and West (-0.1%) declined in October, while prices ticked up by 0.3% in the South (not seasonally adjusted).