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Construction Inflation 2023

1-18-23  Construction Analytics PPI Tables and Building Cost Index

Construction Inputs to Nonresidential Buildings dropped for five of of last six months, now down 5.2% since June, but still up 7.2% since last December. However, the average index for 2022, when compared to the average for 2021, is up 15.7%.

The average growth for the year accounts for all the peaks and valleys within each year and is the value carried forward into the index tables and charts. A glaring example of the difference between Dec/Dec tracking, or year over year, and annual average tracking, is Steel Mill Products which is down 28.7% Dec22/Dec21, but the annual average for 2022 is still up 9.0% from the average 2021. In fact, the last three years show Dec/Dec combined inflation is +71%, but the annual averages for the last three years show total inflation growth of 87%. Annual averages should be used to report inflation.

Residential inputs are down seven of the last eight months, down 7.1% since April, but still up 7.1% since last December. The average for 2022, when compared to the average for 2021, is up 12.7%.

Several major cost components have been on decline the last few months: Lumber/Plywood, Steel Mill Products, Fabricated Steel, Steel Pipe and Tube, Aluminum and Diesel Fuel. Of the 15 items tracked here, 10 declined in the last quarter. Concrete is the only product that has not posted any monthly decline in 2022. Costs are still high, but are moving in the right direction after 1st quarter 2022 costs that averaged +7% (28%annual) to +8%. Historically, most cost increases are posted in the 1st quarter and the least in the 4th quarter.

Final Demand PPI, or Selling Price, represents contractors bid price to client. Includes labor, material, equipment, overhead and profit. Labor includes change in wages and productivity. Every three months (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct) BLS performs an update survey to correct these Final Demand indices. For the past six quarterly updates about 80% to 90% of the change in the index was posted in the update month. Therefore, Final Demand indices should not be referenced monthly. These are quarterly indices. January is an update month, so most of the index reported in Jan. refers to Nov. and Dec.

The final demand PPI index for nonresidential buildings is substantially higher than Construction Analytics nonresidential buildings cost index reported in the index tables. These PPI values are but one of the references used to develop construction analytics building cost index. They are higher than the CA BCI.

Current and predicted Inflation rates updated 1-18-23:

  • 2020 Rsdn Inflation  4.5%, Nonres Bldgs 2.6%, Non-bldg Infra Avg -0.3%
  • 2021 Rsdn Inflation 13.9%, Nonres Bldgs 7.4%, Non-bldg Infra Avg 7.9%
  • 2022 Rsdn Inflation 16.1%,Nonres Bldgs 12.9%, Non-bldg Infra Avg 13.8%
  • 2023 Rsdn Inflation 1.9%, Nonres Bldgs 4.0%, Non-bldg Infra Avg 4.3%

Construction Analytics Building Cost Index and other industry references

In the table above, dividing the current year by the previous year will give the current year inflation rate. All indices are the average rate for the year.

How to use an index: Indexes are used to adjust costs over time for the effects of inflation. An index already compounds annual percent to prevent the error of adding annual percents. To move cost from some point in time to some other point in time, divide Index for year you want to move to by Index for year you want to move cost from. Costs should be moved from/to midpoint of construction, the centroid of project cost. Indices posted here are at middle of year and can be interpolated between to get any other point in time.

Previous year Construction Inflation 2022 – updated 12-10-22
Previous yr PPI PPI Tables 2022 Producer Price Index to NOV’22
Links to Data Sources Construction Inflation >>> Links

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