The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods fell 0.2%, not seasonally adjusted (and seasonally adjusted), in October and inched up just 0.3% over 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Thursday. The PPI for inputs to construction—a weighted average of the cost of all materials used in construction plus items consumed by contractors such as diesel fuel—slumped 0.5% for the month and rose 0.6% year-over-year. The PPIs for inputs to different types of construction all declined for the month but varied slightly year-over-year: residential, -0.4% and 1.2%; total nonresidential (and also industrial structures), -0.5% and 0; commercial structures, -0.4% and 0.6%; and other nonresidential, -0.7% and -0.3%.
Many major construction inputs had flat or falling prices for the month: diesel fuel, -2.6% in October and -9.4% over 12 months; copper and brass mill shapes, 0 and -7.5%; aluminum mill shapes, -0.7% and -5.0%; steel mill products, 0 and -2.4%; architectural coatings, 0 and -1.0%; plastic construction products, -0.3% and -0.7%; asphalt paving mixtures and blocks, -0.3% and 1.2%; and concrete products, 0.1% and 2.9%. Two indexes fell for the month but still jumped year-over-year: gypsum products, -0.8% and 16%, and insulation materials, -1.6% and 7.7%. The PPI for lumber and plywood soared in both periods: 1.9% and 14.5%. PPIs for new nonresidential construction all increased for the month and year-over-year: warehouses 5.6% in October (reversing a 5.7% drop in September) and 2.0% over 12 months; offices, 1.5% and 2.7%; schools, 1.6% and 2.9%; health care construction, 1.0% and 3.1%; and industrial buildings, 1.8% and 4.0%. PPIs for new, repair and maintenance work on nonresidential buildings by electrical contractors rose 0.2% and 1.8%; roofing contractors, 0.5% and 1.9%; concrete contractors, 0.9% and 2.6%; and plumbing contractors, 1.9% and 4.1%.