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AGC Data DIGest: February 13-17, 2023

Input costs vary widely in January; paving price hikes loom; housing starts retreat, permits are mixed

Contractor input costs continue to diverge

Contractors’ input costs diverged widely in January, as one-month or year-over-year (y/y) increases in fuel, paving materials, gypsum, and paint costs outweighed lower prices for lumber and steel, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on Thursday. The producer price index (PPI) for material and service inputs to new nonresidential construction rose 0.9%, the largest monthly gain since May 2022...

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Price increases for select materials

Further price increases for paving materials may be in the offing. Following Martin Marietta Materials (MLM)’s fourth-quarter conference call, investment analyst Thompson Research Group reported on Thursday, “2023 guide on [aggregates] pricing is for 13-15% off of strong carryover and January 1 price increases...

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Decline in housing starts

Housing starts (units) in January declined 4.3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from the December rate and 21% y/y, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday. Single-family starts decreased 4.3% for the month 27% y/y. Multifamily (five or more units) starts slid 5.4% and 8.4%, respectively...

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Increase in multifamily building permits

The number of multifamily building permits increased 9.9% from 2021 to 2022, as “35 states and the District of Columbia recorded growth, while 15 states recorded a decline,” the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) posted on Tuesday...

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Foreign-born workers in construction

The share of foreign-born workers in construction in 2021 “stayed at 24% of the construction workforce, slightly below the 2016 record high share of 24.4% but on a par with the 2019 pre-pandemic reading,” according to an analysis of Census’s 2021 American Community Survey that NAHB posted on Wednesday...

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