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Retail price growth for building materials in Metro Manila has accelerated to its fastest pace in more than a decade, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday.

Preliminary data from the PSA showed retail price growth for building materials in the National Capital Region (NCR) rose 4.8% year-on-year in March, higher than the 3.3% seen in February. and 1.2% in March last year.

This is the fastest pace in more than 10 years, since 5.4% in January 2012.

This brought the average of the NCR’s Building Materials Retail Price Index (CMRPI) in the first quarter to 3.7%, up from 1.2% from January to March last year.

Prices for all product groups recorded increases that month, mainly tinsmithing materials (7.3% in March compared to 5.2% in February).

Plumbing materials also rose 6.9% year-on-year in March, compared to 4.5% in February; miscellaneous building materials (6.7% vs. 3.4%); electrical equipment (3.6% against 2.8%); paint materials and related compounds (2.5% vs. 2.3%); masonry materials (2.1% versus 1.9%); and carpentry materials (1.3% against 1.1%).

Retail construction prices reflect demand from small-scale construction projects, such as small contractors. — Abigail Marie P. Yraola