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For the fourth month in a row, inputs to residential construction, goods less food and energy, which represents building materials used in residential construction, saw an increase. This marks a new high, according to the National Association of Home Builders' reporting on the most recent Producer Price Index (PPI) data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Looking at previous months for comparison, the non-seasonally adjusted index for inputs to residential construction, goods less food and energy, increased 1.27% between December and January and then went up 0.49% between January and February. During both 2022 and 2023, January saw the largest monthly increases, rising by 4.05% and 1.07%, respectively.

After falling for 10 consecutive months, the non-seasonally adjusted PPI for gypsum building materials rose 2.95% during February, while the seasonally adjusted PPI for ready-mix concrete went up 0.25% in February after increasing by 1.76% during January. Over the year, ready-mix concrete prices were 7.42% higher in February.

The seasonally adjusted PPI for softwood lumber fell for the seventh consecutive month, down 2.98% in February. Softwood lumber prices were 10.35% lower in February 2024 when compared to 2023. Prices for lumber will likely start to creep upwards as single-family home construction enters the spring season and demand for lumber increases.

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