Building materials more expensive in March

PRICES of sand and gravel, hardware, plywood and other construction materials in Metro Manila rose in March, the highest since the start of the pandemic last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The latest Construction Materials Wholesale Price Index (CMWPI)– a reference in the costing of government projects– rose 2.2 percent in March from two percent in February.

This is the highest reported uptick in prices since the 1.6 percent in March 2020, when quarantine restrictions were put in place.

The index of fuels and lubricants registered the sharpest increase at 6.8 percent, coming from a 0.3 contraction the month before.

Commodity groups with stable growth include concrete products and cement, lumber, reinforcing and structural steel, tile works, glass products, PVC pipes, asphalt, and equipment rentals.

The 2012-based CMWPI covers 101 items.

The market basket includes selected construction materials identified from the bills of materials provided by the Department of Public Works and Highways, National Housing Authority, and Subdivision and Housing Developers Association.