Expect the cost of some construction materials to go up again. Commenting on a Labor Dept. report, the chief economist at The Associated General Contractors of America said steep price increases are expected in steel and diesel prices. “For instance, steel mills have announced two big increases for reinforcing and structural steel types used widely in highways, buildings, parking structures and other construction,” Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist noted. “On March 1, many mills increased prices by $15 a ton. This week, they announced a whopping $55 increase to take effect on April 1. That would make the total increase since January 1 about $100 or nearly 40 percent.” Meanwhile the producer price index for diesel was up 7 percent in February, and the March hikes so far will likely double that number.
Construction Costs Back on the Rise