The prices of building materials decreased marginally by 0.2% in October, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI). The October decrease marks the fourth time in five months the overall index has fallen, the first such occurrence since 2015, according to the NAHB. The price index of services inputs to residential construction decreased by 0.7% in October, marking the seventh consecutive monthly decline, and prices have fallen a total of 14% since the index last increased in March 2022.

The PPI for softwood lumber (seasonally adjusted) fell 1.7% in October following 5.5% and 3.1% declines in August and September, respectively. Softwood lumber prices are 4.4% higher than they were a year ago but have fallen 41.3% since March. The index remains 3.0% above pre-pandemic levels.

The PPI for gypsum building materials edged 0.2% lower in October—just the second monthly decrease since September 2020. The index is 45.6% higher than its January 2020 level.

The price of truck, rail, and ocean transportation of freight each decreased in October. Trucking freight prices fell 1.4%–the fifth consecutive decline—while the indexes for rail and deep sea transportation of freight decreased 0.7% and 1.8%, respectively. Year-to-date, the prices of ocean, rail, and truck freight transportation have increased 25.2%, 6.5%, and 6.0%.

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