US contractors see 1% rise in materials costs

By Chris Sleight13 September 2012

The input prices for materials used by contractors in the US rose +1% year-on-year to August, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). However, most of the increases came in the last month, with a +0.9% rise since July.

The AGC warned that the month-on-month increase in costs against a backdrop of high competition among contractors could threaten some businesses. "After years of depressed construction activity, the last thing contractors need is to see materials price increases further erode their already slim margins. This isn't the kind of economic recovery most contractors spent the past few years praying for," AGC chief executive Stephen E. Sandherr.

The steepest price rises compared to a year ago were fro gypsum products and architectural coatings. There have been rises of the order of +2.0% for concrete products, while lumber and insulating materials were up +6.9% and +7.1% respectively. Meanwhile, contractors have seen prices fall for several groups of materials, including asphalt roofing materials and various metallic construction products.

In other areas of the US economy, consumer prices have risen +1.4% compared to a year ago, while the producer price index for finished goods was up +2.0%.

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