PRICE GROWTH of construction materials in the National Capital Region (NCR) eased at both the retail and wholesale levels in April, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday.

Citing preliminary data, the PSA said the April construction materials retail price index (CMRPI) eased to 2.6% from 4.1% in March and 6.1% a year earlier.

The April reading dipped below the recent low set in December 2021, when the index rose 2.7%. April marked the ninth consecutive month that growth rates slowed.

Metro Manila's Construction Materials Retail Price Indices

In the first four months, the CMRPI averaged 4.4%, behind the 5.6% year-earlier pace.

The PSA attributed the continued slowdown in the CMRPI to slower growth in miscellaneous construction materials, where price growth slowed to 0.2% from 6.2% in March; and in plumbing materials (0.7% from 2.2%).

Slower price growth was also seen in tinsmithry materials (4.4% from 4.7%), carpentry materials (2.8 % from 3.3%), electrical materials (2.2% from 2.4%), masonry materials (2.5% from 3.6%) and painting materials and related compounds (4.6% from 5.6%).

In a separate report, the PSA said wholesale price growth in construction materials in Metro Manila also slowed in April.

The construction materials wholesale price index (CMWPI) in the NCR grew 7.4% year-on-year in April, against the 7.7% rate posted in March.

The April reading remained higher than the year-earlier rate of 6.9%.

Of the 17 categories of commodity, price growth eased in 10.

The PSA said price growth in structural steel was 6.5% in April, down from 7.1% in March. Other categories where price growth eased were concrete products and cement (9.0% from 9.3%); hardware (6.8% from 7.7%); electrical works (6.2% from 6.6%); doors, jambs, and steel casements (5.4% from 6.1%); plywood (4.8% from 5%); sand and gravel (4.7% from 4.8%); plumbing fixtures and accessories or waterworks (3.9% from 4.1%); PVC pipes (1.3% from 1.8%) and fuels and lubricants (-11.9% from -8%).

Meanwhile, price growth accelerated in lumber to 7.0% from 6.8% in March. Also posting stronger price growth were tileworks (1.3% from 1%) and painting works (13.1% from 12.9%).

The indices for G.I. sheets, glass and glass products, asphalt and machinery and equipment rental were flat.

In the four months to April, the CWPI averaged 8.4%, up from the 6% posted a year earlier.

“Wholesale and retail price growth of construction materials in Metro Manila continued to slow on a year-on-year basis, largely due to the downward correction in global commodity prices such as industrial metals and the sharp decline in most global energy prices,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in an e-mail.

“For the coming months, the continued increase in infrastructure spending, capital spending by property companies and other businesses as the economy reopens further towards greater normalcy, will continue to support demand for construction materials,” Mr. Ricafort added. — Lourdes O. Pilar