NCR building materials wholesale price growth eases in Feb.

 NCR building materials wholesale price growth eases in Feb.

WHOLESALE PRICE growth of construction materials in Metro Manila eased to a four-month low in February, according to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released on Monday.

The construction materials wholesale price index in the National Capital Region (NCR) rose 5.2% year on year in February, slowing from 5.3% in January but higher than the 2% logged in February 2021.

The February reading was equal to the growth rate posted in December. Both months represent the lowest rate since the 4.7% reported in October 2021.

In the year to date, the growth in bulk construction materials prices was 5.3%, against the year-earlier rate of 1.6%.

The PSA said the slower growth was led by the prices of concrete products and cement, growth in which decelerated to 3.3% in February from 3.5% in January. Also posting slower growth were hardware (3.2% from 3.5%); glass and glass products (1.4% from 14.4%); and doors, jambs, and steel casements (2.2% from 2.9%).

Price growth accelerated for sand and gravel (2.2% from 2.1%); plywood (4.1% from 3.1%); reinforcing and structural steel (7.2% from 7.0%); electrical works (9.2% from 8.5%); plumbing fixtures and accessories/waterworks (6.6% from 5.4%); painting works (4.5% from 4.2%); PVC pipes (5.3% from 4.2%); and fuels and lubricants (31.87% from 26.6%).

February’s easing was “due to existing and adequate supply of materials purchased earlier making supply steady despite supply chain constraints due to pandemic and war in Eastern Europe,” Asian Institute of Management Economist John Paolo R. Rivera said in a text message.

JAN. RETAIL PRICE GROWTHSeparately, retail price growth of building materials in the NCR rose to its highest level in three-and-a-half-years in January, the PSA said, also on Monday.

The NCR construction materials retail price index rose 3% in January from 2.7% in December and 1.2% in January 2021, the PSA said.

This was the largest rise in the index in 42 months, or since the 3.3% reading posted in July 2018.

Price growth accelerated for most commodity groups in January. Miscellaneous construction materials price growth was 4.4% in January from 3.6% in December. Price growth was also higher for tinsmithry materials (4.2% from 3.8%); plumbing materials (3.8% from 3%); electrical materials (2.8% from 2.5%); and masonry materials (2% from 1.6%).

Mr. Rivera said this jump in January was due to continuous construction by both the private and public sectors.

“Due to limited supply and supply constraints in the world now, there is pressure for prices to go up as construction activities intensify,” he added.

The wholesale price index indicates large purchases by major construction companies and property developers and serves as a leading indicator for future activity by those industries.

Meanwhile, retail construction prices reflect demand from small-scale building projects, such as small contractors. — Mariedel Irish U. Catilogo