In The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly Producer Price Indexes (PPI) report, declining prices in the service sector drove prices received by producers 0.1% in March. However, a 1.8% increase in energy goods spurred a 0.2% increase in goods, wrote Robert Denk of the NAHB.
For products used by builders, producer prices were a mixed bag, according to Denk.
Softwood lumber prices rose 2.8% in March but have largely hovered in the current range over the last six months. A strengthening of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar in the early months of 2016 may be stemming the flow of Canadian lumber to the US putting upward pressure on prices. OSB prices declined for the fourth straight month in March. OSB prices have given back roughly a third of the 25% increase since mid-2015. Gypsum prices moved sideways in February and March but are in the range sustained through 2014 and 2015.