- Construction material prices fell another 0.6% between January and February and 3.7% year-over-year, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday.
- February was the eighth-consecutive month of declines in construction industry inputs in the Producer Price Index.
- Only three of 11 input prices increased between January and February: prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding products; concrete products; and natural gas. The remaining eight inputs saw price declines last month.
ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu attributed the continued decline in commodity and material prices to "weak global growth and the prospects of a strengthening U.S. dollar."
He predicted that construction material prices — including oil and iron ore costs — will rebound in March, but added that a major price surge in the coming months is unlikely.
"Financial markets remain shaky," Basu said in a release. "Brazil and Russia remain in recession and Chinese growth continues at its worst pace in at least two decades. Europe continues to recover only slowly, and the United States continues to expand at a lackluster pace."
Although declining material prices can be good news for construction companies in the midst of a building boom across the U.S., they have also been causing significant damage to the energy sector and the states that rely on it. Basu's predicted rebound in March would be a welcome reprieve for those local economies.