U.S. building material prices fell 0.2% in October (not seasonally adjusted) after falling 0.5% in September, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report. . The index fell for four out of five months for the first time since 2015. The PPI for incoming goods in residential construction, including energy, rose 0.2% on the back of diesel fuel prices (+9 .5%) and unleaded petrol (+5.7%). , as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported.
The residential construction services input price index fell 0.7% in October, the seventh consecutive monthly decline. Prices have fallen 14% in total since the index last increased in March 2022 and are only 1.4% higher than a year ago.
The lumber PPI (seasonally adjusted) fell 1.7% in October after declines of 5.5% and 3.1% in August and September, respectively. Softwood lumber prices are 4.4% higher than a year ago, but have fallen 41.3% since March. The index remains 3.0% above pre-pandemic levels.
Prices for steel products fell 6.6% in October and 21.6% since May 2022. The index is at its lowest level since May 2021 after five consecutive monthly declines, each larger than the last.
The PPI for ready-mixed concrete (RMC) rose 0.4% in October but, as with steel mill products, the pace of increases has slowed in each of the past three months. The index is up 9.1% year-to-date, the biggest increase since the start of the year in October in the series’ 34-year history.
Gypsum building materials
The Gypsum Building Materials PPI edged down 0.2% in October, only the second monthly decline since September 2020. The index is 45.6% higher than its January 2020 level .
The price of freight transport by truck, rail and sea fell in October. Prices for goods by truck fell 1.4% – the fifth consecutive decline – while the rail and marine freight indices fell 0.7% and 1.8%, respectively. Since the beginning of the year, prices for maritime, rail and truck freight have increased by 25.2%, 6.5% and 6.0%.