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Construction materials prices decline

The price of construction materials declined in June by 0.9 percent following three months of increases. This is according to the July 15 producer price index report by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Associated Builders and Contractors are also reporting that prices are 4.2 percent higher than June 2009.

Commodities that posted decreases included iron, steel, nonferrous wire and cable, plus asphalt, tar roofing and siding. Plumbing fixture prices actually spiked during that same time, as did fabricated structural metal.

“Given significant declines in the price of softwood lumber and a number of other materials, there is at least some indication of prospective construction slowing in the months ahead,” ABC’s Chief Economist Anirban Basu said.

“Construction materials prices relate neatly to the direction of commodity prices, and therefore the decline in these prices may be more of a reflection of investor sentiment than an actual foreshadowing of lost construction momentum.”

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