Retail price growth of construction materials in NCR accelerates

RETAIL price growth of construction materials in Metro Manila accelerated to its highest level in nearly two years in October, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The retail-level index, known as the construction materials retail price index, in the National Capital Region was 1.4% in October, the highest growth rate since February 2019’s 1.6%.

The October result compares with 1.3% in September and 0.7% a year earlier.

The index has been in positive territory for the 11th consecutive month.

The latest result was driven by higher growth in tinsmithry materials (2.2% from 1.7% in September); masonry materials (1.4% from 1.1); and painting materials and related compounds (1.8% from 1.7%).

The index for electrical materials sustained the 0.8% growth posted in September.

Price growth the following commodity groups slowed from the previous month: carpentry materials (1.2% from 1.3%); plumbing materials (0.6% from 0.9%); and miscellaneous construction materials (1.2% from 1.5%).

The retail price reflects construction activity on the level of small contractors or DIY home repair, and prices here are typically higher than those obtained by large contractors because of their ability to buy in bulk.

“Clearly with the relaxed quarantine measures, there is already gradual recovery in the construction sector,” Security Bank Corp. Chief Economist Robert Dan J. Roces said in a Viber message.

“Should construction continue to recover, then demand for materials will increase in lockstep with it,” he added.

Mr. Roces also said that there is a possibility that typhoons in late October and early November can push the index higher for November, led by basic categories such as carpentry and plumbing materials.

Typhoons Rolly (international name: Goni), the world’s strongest tropical cyclone so far this year, and Ulysses (Vamco) traversed Luzon earlier this month causing extensive damage in parts of Metro Manila and all over Luzon.

Last week, President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared a state of calamity over Luzon. — Marissa Mae M. Ramos

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