Despite generally robust conditions, the construction industry nationally remains challenged by increased materials and equipment costs.
In fact, notes a just-released report published by IHS Markit, a business analysis group with offices in New York, the construction industry’s costs have been moving upwards for every month since October of 2016.
According to the IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index, the price of compressors, heat exchangers, and pumps have all increased by double digits in the last month.
Costs are also up for fabricated structural steel, carbon steel pipe, and alloy steel pipe.
Making matters more challenging for contractors is the recent imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs by the Trump Administration, which, according to John Anton, associate director of pricing and purchasing with IHS Markit, has added a troubling element of uncertainty to the steel-buying market.
“When the cost is unknowable and availability dubious, rational behavior is to do nothing,” Anton said in a press release.
The report also notes that labor costs are expected to rise for the foreseeable future, with industry officials expressing concerns about a shortage of carpenters, electrical engineers, and welders.
By Garry Boulard
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