The steepest jump in construction materials costs since 2011 has been recorded in the opening quarter of this year, reveals a new analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.
The Washington-based industry association group also notes that such cost increases are unrelated to the upped tariffs recently announced by President Trump on foreign steel and aluminum.
“Steel services centers and other suppliers are warning there is not enough capacity at U.S. mills or in the trucking industry to deliver orders on a timely basis,” says the AGC’s chief economist, Ken Simonson, in explaining what could be a coming crunch of materials needed for construction work.
“Thus, contractors are likely to experience still higher prices, as well as delivery delays in coming months,” Simonson adds in a release published by the AGC.
The AGC analysis is based on the most recent Department of Labor statistics released in early April.
While aluminum, lumber, and steel costs have all jumped in early 2018 over the same time period from a year ago, the AGC report also shows a 5 percent jump in plastic construction products, an 8.4 percent rise in gypsum products; an 11 percent increase in copper and brass mill shapes; and a nearly 40 percent jump in diesel fuel.
By Garry Boulard
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