ABC issues news releases on the latest workforce, policy and industry issues, as well as construction-related economic data and trends. Commercial and industrial construction economic analyses include federal data on construction spending, employment, job openings and the Producer Price Index. 

In addition, ABC produces the Construction Backlog Indicator, the only economic indicator that reflects the amount of work that will be performed by commercial and industrial construction contractors in the months ahead, and the Construction Confidence Index, a diffusion index that signals construction contractors’ expectations for sales, profit margins and staffing levels. Methodology for both indicators can be found hereABC construction economic releases are published according to this schedule for 2023 

Return to Previous Page

Monthly Construction Input Prices Rise 2.1% in February, Says ABC

WASHINGTON, March 12—Construction input prices rose 2.1% in February 2021, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data released today. Nonresidential construction input prices also increased 2.1% for the month.

Construction input prices are up 7.6% from February 2020, and nonresidential construction input prices have expanded 7.1% during that span. Softwood lumber and natural gas have experienced the largest year-over-year increases, rising 79.7% and 76.2%, respectively. Prices in the iron and steel category increased 22.0% compared to the same time last year, and steel mill product prices are up 20.0%.

“Anyone who questions whether or not the inflation story is real should look at today’s Producer Price Index,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Input prices are rising rapidly even in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic that continues to suppress economic growth in many parts of the world, including Europe and Latin America. If anything, these conditions should create flat prices, but the injection of massive levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus into the global economy, along with occasional supply chain issues, have produced a nearly 8% rise in construction input prices over the past year.

“As vaccinations become more pervasive around the world, additional stimulus is injected into various economies, and the global economy reopens in earnest, the pace of price increases could further accelerate,” said Basu. “According to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, only 36% of contractors expect their profit margins to increase over the next six months. Meaningful inflation would almost certainly lower that share. ABC is indicating to its members that they should be very careful in crafting their contracts, given the risk of future materials price increases. The risk is real. Today’s data release does nothing to alter that prescription.” 

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.
For media inquiries, please contact Donna Reichle, ABC’s senior director of communcations and marketing at [email protected]

Click here to subscribe to ABC’s news releases or here to receive ABC's weekly newsletter, Newsline

Search by Category