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Despite softwood lumber prices decreasing by 5.2% in August, the overall price of building materials increased by 0.5% last month, according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report. Building material prices have climbed 4.9% year to date and are up 14.3% on a year-over-year basis, according to the NAHB. Prices for gypsum products, transformers, and concrete products recorded historic year-over-year increases in August.

The PPI for gypsum building materials rose 3.3% in August—the seventh monthly increase in 2022. Prices have increased 11.0% YTD and 19.9% over the last 12 months. Since the start of 2021, the index has increased 38.9%.

The PPI for ready-mix concrete (RMC) gained 1.6% in August, its fifth consecutive increase and has 21st monthly gain over the past two years. The index has climbed 5.2% over the past three months—the second-largest three-month increase in the series’ 34-year history. The index has climbed 8.1%, year-to-date, the largest YTD August increase over the past three decades.

The PPI for softwood lumber (seasonally adjusted) declined 5.2% in August. Softwood lumber prices have fallen four of the past five months by a total of 37.7%. its first increase in four months. Prices have fallen 32.7%, year-to-date, but remain 46.4% above pre-pandemic levels.

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