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Supplies costs up barely in February

Dive Brief: Overall construction and nonresidential input prices both jumped 0.4% in February compared to the previous month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis. Sharp declines in energy prices have pushed these overall numbers lower in recent months, but there remains “plentiful evidence of lingering materials price inflation and supply chain challenges,” said

Supplies costs up barely in February

Dive Temporary:

  • Total development and nonresidential enter costs each jumped 0.4% in February in comparison with the earlier month, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis.
  • Sharp declines in power costs have pushed these total numbers decrease in current months, however there stays “plentiful proof of lingering supplies worth inflation and provide chain challenges,” mentioned Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist, in a press launch.
  • “Whereas the February development supplies worth inflation knowledge seem benign, a peek behind the headline numbers signifies that worth pressures stay plentiful,” mentioned Basu. “With rising stress on the worldwide banking system and the Federal Reserve nonetheless wrestling with extra inflation, dangers of recession proceed to develop.”

Dive Perception:

Pure gasoline costs fell sharply in February, down 41.4%, whereas the value of unprocessed power supplies resembling crude oil and coal tumbled 9.1% for the month, in keeping with the report.

Nonetheless, pure gasoline costs stay up about 68.9% since February 2020, whereas unprocessed power supplies additionally stay up 76.3% throughout the identical interval.

These large worth drops in power masks widespread provide chain challenges and chronic supplies worth inflation, mentioned Basu.

Total development enter costs remained 2.6% greater than the yr earlier than, whereas nonresidential enter costs ticked up 2.8% throughout that very same span, in keeping with the report. Since February 2020, total development and nonresidential enter costs surged 38.8% and 39.1%, respectively.

That’s largely as a consequence of will increase in commodities resembling concrete supplies, up 14% previously yr, and switchgear merchandise, up 11.7% previously yr. In the meantime, on a month-to-month foundation, costs for brick and structural clay tile ticked up 3.4%, copper wire and cable moved up 3.3% and iron and metal costs jumped 2.9% in February, in keeping with the report.

Nonetheless, Ken Simonson, chief economist for Related Basic Contractors of America, mentioned earlier this month the U.S. financial system ought to fend off a recession this yr. He added that manufacturing and infrastructure tasks, boosted by the Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act and CHIPS Act, stay the intense spot by way of development exercise.

Nonetheless, Basu warns of a attainable slowdown for contractors exterior that scope of labor.

“Whereas contractors performing public development and dealing on industrial megaprojects stand to fare effectively in the course of the years forward, the fortunes of many different contractors are more and more threatened by elevated prices of capital, tightening monetary circumstances and the rising value of delivering development providers,” mentioned Basu. “Ultimately, these elements might whittle away at backlog, which is currently elevated… creating higher challenges for contractors in 2024 or 2025.”

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