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The retail price of building materials in the National Capital Region (NCR) showed a slight decline in September, the Philippine Statistics Authority said, largely due to lower prices in the global market.

According to its preliminary data, PSA said the Building Materials Retail Price Index (CMRPI) in the NCR was 6.8% in September, slightly lower than the 6.9% posted in August, but faster than the 2% growth rate of the previous year.

Among the three product groups, three posted monthly declines such as plumbing materials, tinsmithing materials and masonry materials.

Growth in plumbing materials was weaker at 6.9% in September versus 7.5% in August.

Sheet metal materials fell to 8.8% from 9%, while masonry materials fell to 4.2% from 4.5%.

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On the other hand, those with higher annual increases in September were electrical materials and miscellaneous building materials at 4.5% and 11%, respectively.

“Meanwhile, the indices for carpentry materials and paint materials, and related compounds maintained their respective August 2022 growth rates of 2.9% and 5.7%,” PSA said.

NCR’s CMRPI growth averaged 5.6% from January to September.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said the decline in CMRPI in September was largely attributed “to the downward correction in global prices of some building materials over the past few months.”

This, “amid some concerns about the potential risk of recession in the US amid aggressive US interest rate hikes that have also driven up interest rates/borrowing costs in other countries which, in turn, has led to a decline in demand for loans used to finance the purchase of homes and other construction projects/activities globally and locally,” he added.

For example, Ricafort cited that global prices for iron, steel, copper, among others, have fallen to two-year lows since November 2020.

Retail construction prices reflect demand from small-scale construction projects, including DIY builders and small contractors.