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Little Letup in U.S. and Canadian Construction Material Cost Increases

August 26, 2021

The headlines are no longer screaming about steeply climbing lumber prices. The ultra-sharp gains are over and a pullback phase has settled in.

A moderation in price was expected due to housing starts leveling off and home renovation projects being put on the back burner, as the leisure-time days of summer are replaced by the more frenetically paced days of fall.

July’s Producer Price Index (PPI) for softwood lumber, shown in Table 1, was -16.3% compared with three months ago in April. The latest month-to-month price change was -29.0%.

As Table 1 and Graph 1 set out, however, the price advances for other forestry products, and for a multitude of other inputs used in the building process, have not let up much.

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