Construction materials prices declined last month, ABC says
Construction materials prices continued to decline during November, according to a new analysis of federal data by the Associated Builders and Contractors.
Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index, the association said input prices dropped 0.4 percent over the month and are down 4.2 percent since November 2014.
Nonresidential construction prices dropped 0.5 percent from October and 4.6 percent year-over-year. Only two of the 11 input prices surveyed have risen since November 2014, ABC said.
"There are many factors at work, all helping to push commodity prices lower," said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. "These factors include a stronger U.S. dollar, weak economic performance among major emerging countries like China, Brazil and Russia, ongoing softness in economies in Europe, OPEC's recent decision to maintain high levels of output, elevated levels of oil and gas output from private companies wrestling with debt service payments and the impact of energy-saving technologies.”
The situation is unlikely to change anytime soon, Basu added.
"For now, the world is glutted with key construction inputs ranging from steel and copper to oil and natural gas," Basu said. "While prices may stabilize during the months ahead, a sharp increase in input prices remains unlikely. With the Federal Reserve Bank contemplating interest rate increases in the near-term, the U.S. dollar could get even stronger in 2016, helping to further suppress input price inflation."