Diesel tumbles, building materials rise; Ike spares output
The producer price index (PPI) for finished goods tumbled 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment (-0.9 percent seasonally adjusted) in August but rose 9.6 percent over the past 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, according to The Data DIGest Sept. 16. The PPI for inputs to construction industries, a weighted average of materials used in every type of construction plus items consumed by contractors, such as diesel fuel, was flat for the month and up 13 percent over 12 months. For the month, the indexes declined sharply for nonresidential segments but rose for residential construction, but nonresidential costs still rose more over 12 months. One- and 12-month changes were -1.3 percent and 22 percent for PPI for highway and street construction; -1.0 percent and 17 percent for other heavy construction; -0.4 percent and 12 percent for nonresidential buildings; 0.1 percent and 9.2 percent for new multi-unit residential; and 0.9 percent and 8.4 percent for new single-unit residential. The disparities are largely traceable to diesel fuel, which plummeted 20 percent for the month but was up 50 percent over 12 months; diesel is a major input for highway and other heavy construction.