Continuing on a downward trend, the price of construction materials fell 0.4 percent in April, according to the U.S. Labor Department. On a year-over-year basis, construction material prices have dropped 3.7 percent.
“Given the weakness of the broader economy, lower construction materials prices are a necessary ingredient to stimulate nonresidential construction in segments not directly impacted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “It is hoped that producer prices will remain low or continue to decline allowing developers to move ahead with projects, in part, because of limited financing opportunities.”

Asphalt felts and coatings prices dropped 10.5 percent, the largest month-to-month decline in 55 years. Prices for fabricated structural metal products fell by 1 percent from March, marking the seventh consecutive monthly decline, but are still up 0.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

In contrast, softwood lumber prices increased, for the first time in seven months, by 1.6 percent. Still, year-over-year, softwood lumber prices remain down 10.2 percent. Plumbing fixtures and fittings prices rose by 0.5 percent compared to the previous month, and are 1.1 percent higher than a year ago.

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