Construction material price growth slows in July

A worker cuts metal in a construction area in Manila on March 24. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

GROWTH in wholesale building material prices in Metro Manila slowed in July amid rising construction activity.

The National Capital Region (NCR) wholesale building materials price index fell to 8.7% year-on-year in July from a nearly 14-year high of 8.9% in June, according to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). This figure was above 2.3% in July 2021.

It was also the smallest increase in bulk prices in two months or since 8.3% in May.

Metro Manila Wholesale Building Materials Price Index

Year-to-date, wholesale building materials prices have accelerated 7.1%, faster than 2% in the same period a year ago.

Security Bank Corp. chief economist Robert Dan J. Roces said the latest data confirms the recovery of the construction sector amid the economic reopening.

“That means more demand for materials. The subsector has been one of the top performers in terms of job creation, capital expansion and production since the start of the year,” he said in an email.

Roces said the slower price growth reflected lower prices for imported materials in July.

“As such, the costs for builders might come down a bit,” he said.

Wholesale fuel and lubricant prices slowed to 41.3% in July from 48.4% a month earlier. Similarly, prices for structural and reinforcing steel slowed to 14.9% from 16.5% in June.

Other product groups that showed slower price growth were galvanized sheets (13% in July vs. 14.6% in June), PVC pipes (9.8% vs. 11.2%), construction electrical (8.4% versus 8.7%) and plywood (4.9% versus 5.1%). %).

Meanwhile, prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings/waterworks rose 7.9% from 7.6%, while paint jobs rose 7% from 6.2%.

Faster price growth was seen in hardware (5.8% vs. 5.7%); concrete and cement products (5.7% vs. 5.2%); sand and gravel (5.1% vs. 4.7%); lumber (4.8% vs. 4.2%); steel doors, jambs and leaves (2.5% compared to 2.2%); and tiles (1.2% against 0.7%).

Mr Roces signaled “cautious optimism” for the construction sector in the months ahead.

“The infrastructure push by the government where 5% of spending will go, that’s good for the sector as well,” he said. — Abigail Marie P. Yraola