The Labor Department's composite measure of average prices for the entire range of construction materials and supplies declined by a slim 0.1 percent between February and March of this year. This brought the March 2001 composite index to a level 2.1 percent below its reading for the third month of 2000. On an annual average basis, the construction materials price index moved up 0.9 percent between 1999 and 2000, after increasing by an almost identical 1.0 percent over the previous year.
Price trends have varied widely between specific kinds of construction materials, however, with paving asphalt and roofing material prices easing in the first quarter as lumber and gypsum moved higher.
Selected construction materials trends
(Percent change in price index 3/00-3/01)
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
|Asphalt/tar strip shingles||5.1%|
|Unitary air conditioners||-0.2|
|Structural metal products||-1.1|
|Ceramic floor and wall tile||-3.0|