An Associated Builders and Contractors

analysis of information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows construction material prices rose 1.5% from September to October—the highest monthly increase since June, according to On a year-over-year basis, the price of construction materials increased 21.1%.

Nonresidential construction

material prices rose 1.4% from September to October and increased 22.3% compared with one year ago. Softwood lumber prices are down 19.5% year-over-year and up 7.3% from September to October. Iron and steel prices are up 101.5% year-over-year and 3.7% for the month.

“Any notion that the bout of pandemic-induced inflation was simply transitory has gone by the wayside,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Inflation continues to endure, particularly in multiple commodity categories that directly impact the cost of delivering construction services in America. These materials price increases are simply mind-boggling, with iron and steel prices up more than 100% over the past year.

“Despite increased vaccination levels, global supply chain disruptions persist,” said Basu. “Contractors should expect elevated prices well into 2022. According to ABC’s most recent Construction Confidence Index, the average contractor expects profits to decline over the next six months as the combination of high materials prices and an ongoing shortage of workers conspires to put pressure on margins.”

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