According to Ken Simonson, the Associated General Contractors of America’s chief economist, “Contractors caught a bit of a break on major input costs in April, enabling some firms to make up for recent price spikes. However,” he continued, “workloads remain uneven by segment and geographical region, leaving many firms very vulnerable to unexpected price hikes for key materials.”
Leading the league in cost decreases were diesel (0.9%), wallboard (1.9%), and copper and brass, which decreased 2.7% and 11.4% respectively.
While it’s nice to hear something positive, the take-away from this is that we’re still far from out of the woods.
“Until Washington finalizes a number of long-delayed infrastructure measures, public sector demand for construction is likely to continue to decline,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “With less work available, firms working on public projects will be particularly susceptible to price spikes.”
What can we do about the situation? Keep the pressure on our elected officials to abandon their reluctance to increase funding for badly needed infrastructure projects.