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Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Construction Costs Soar in May, Outpacing Contractors' Pricing; New Tariffs Threaten to Worsen Cost Squeeze, Lead to Project Delays

June 13, 2018

Association Officials Say the Threat of New Tariffs Has Already Led to Dramatic Increases in the Cost of Many Construction Materials, Warn Prices Will Grow As the New Trade Restrictions Take Effect

Construction costs accelerated again in May, with steep increases for a wide range of building and road materials, including many that are subject to tariffs that could drive prices still higher, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of new Labor Department data. Association officials say that the construction industry will bear a heavy share of the tariffs’ costs.

“Prices jumped at double-digit annual rates for metals, lumber and plywood, and diesel fuel, while ready-mixed concrete, asphalt paving and roofing materials also had unusually large increases,” said the association’s chief economist, Ken Simonson. “The cost of all goods used in construction rose 8.8 percent from May 2017 to May 2018, the steepest annual increase in nearly seven years.”

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