Nonresidential construction costs increase 21%

Constr Chartppi AprPrices of materials and services used in new, nonresidential construction jumped nearly 21% in April from levels a year ago, according to an analysis by Associated General Contractors of America. The producer price index for inputs to new nonresidential construction — the prices charged by goods producers and service providers — rose 0.8% from March to April and 20.9% over the past 12 months. An index for new nonresidential building construction — a measure of what contractors say they would charge to erect five types of nonresidential buildings — rose 4.1% for the month and 19.9% from a year earlier. April was the 19th consecutive month in which the cost index rose more than the bid-price index on a year-over-year basis.

A wide variety of inputs accounted for the increase in the cost index. The price index for diesel fuel jumped 86.5% over 12 months. The index for aluminum mill shapes climbed 44.8%. The index for architectural coatings such as paint soared 32.1%. There were increases of more than 20% in the indexes for plastic construction products, which rose 29.9%; truck transportation of freight, 27.4%; steel mill products, 25.1%; and roofing asphalt and tar products, 20.8%.