Prices for Construction Materials Diverge Sharply in January as Demand Shifts From Homebuilding to Factory and Infrastructure Projects

Diesel Fuel, Concrete, and Gypsum Products Continue to Post Steep One-Month and Year-over-Year Price Increases, While Prices for Lumber, Steel Mill Products Tumble Compared to Year-Ago Levels

Contractors encountered a wide range of price changes for key construction inputs in January, with steep increases for fuel, concrete, and gypsum products offsetting sharp declines in lumber and steel prices, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government data released today. Association officials said a lack of clarity from officials in Washington as to what materials may be used on federally assisted projects is adding to price disparities.

“Producer price indexes for construction inputs moderated over the past year but many items increased again in January,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With demand shifting among project types, prices for many inputs are likely to diverge further in 2023.”

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