According to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prices of goods used in residential construction ex-energy (not seasonally adjusted) climbed 0.5% in April, following upwardly revised increases of 1.9% and 2.4% in March and February, respectively. This adds up to an 4.9% increase in building materials prices since the start of 2022. Year-over-year, building materials prices are up 19.2% and have risen 35.6% since the start of the pandemic.
The price index of services inputs to residential construction registered a similar increase, rising 0.9% in April. However, the index was upwardly revised for March, causing the monthly increase to jump from 3.2% to 6.8% over the month. As a result, the price index of services used in home building (including trade services, transportation and warehousing) has climbed 13.3% since the start of the year. Year-over-year, the index has increased 18.1% and is up 45.6% since the start of the pandemic.
The PPI for softwood lumber (seasonally adjusted) declined 15.6% in April following a downwardly revised 5.4% increase in March and a 2.5% gain in February. As a result, the index is down 8.9% over the first four months of 2022. Since reaching its most recent trough in September 2021, prices have risen 60.4%.
Steel mill products prices (NSA) climbed 2.4% in April–the first monthly increase since December 2021. Nonetheless, the first four months of 2022 have been positive for the cost of derivative steel products after increasing 128.0% in 2021.
The PPI for ready-mix concrete (RMC) resumed its upward trend after a small decline in March (-0.2%) as prices rose 1.3% (SA) in April. The index has climbed 8.9% year-over-year and is 12.6% higher than the January 2021 reading.
The PPI for gypsum products (SA) was flat in April. Year-over-year, the prices of gypsum products are 17.8% higher and have increased 23.5% since January 2021.
—By David Logan