Price of construction materials up 0.7% in July

Prices for goods used in residential construction increased by 0.7% in July, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders that cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The price of goods used in residential construction has risen 2.8% in 2019, half the time it took to increase in 2018. 

The report says that the price of softwood lumber went up 2% in July – the most it’s risen in four months. Prices paid for plywood fell 0.3% in July, and the index for goods in maintenance and repair increased 0.6%.

The price index for gypsum products – which usually means drywall used for the walls of new homes – reversed its downward trend in July, increasing 2.2% seasonally adjusted. Gypsum prices have increased in four of the prior 12 months, but have declined by 4.1% since January 2019. This was only the second year since 2012 in which the prices for gypsum products was lower in July than it was in January.

In June, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that construction spending was 1.3% lower than the June 2018 estimate of $1.31 trillion. That level was the largest decline since November 2018

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