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June PPI Report Highlights Record-Setting Volatility for Lumber and Other Building Materials

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Building Materials

June PPI Report Highlights Record-Setting Volatility for Lumber and Other Building Materials

Building materials prices have been prone to near-constant volatility throughout the pandemic, and the latest increases are no exception

July 19, 2022
Stacks of lumber pallets in warehouse
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Even as softwood lumber prices fell 23% in June, the costs of goods used in residential construction climbed 1.5%, adding to a total gain of 41.7% since January 2020, NAHB Eye on Housing reports. Building materials prices have increased 4.8% year-to-date and 12.2% year-over-year, and more volatility is expected in the months ahead.

Softwood lumber prices have been perhaps the most volatile compared with all other construction goods since January 2020, while prices for ready-mix concrete and gypsum products continue to post steady increases in the midst of supply chain bottlenecks and shortages.

The PPI for ready-mix concrete (RMC) gained 1.9% in June following increases in May (+0.8%) and April (+1.1%). The index has climbed 5.1%, year-to-date, and 11.3% over the past 12 months. Over the two decades beginning January 2000, the price of RMC moved more than 1% in 24 of 240 survey months. It has increased/decreased more than 1% in seven of the 30 months since, including three times through the first half of 2022.

The PPI for gypsum products increased 0.1% in June after surging 7.1% in May. and has soared 22.6% over the past year. After a quiet 2020, the price of gypsum products climbed 23.0% in 2021 and is up 7.6% through the first half of 2022.

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