RETAIL PRICE growth of construction materials in the National Capital Region (NCR) accelerated to three-month high in April, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday.

According to preliminary data from the PSA, the construction materials retail price index (CMRPI) in April grew by 1.2%. This was twice faster than the 0.6% growth in March but slower than 2.6% last year.

April CMRPI growth was the quickest or since the 1.4% in January.

NCR’s CMRPI averaged 1.1% for the first four months of the year, lower than the 4.4% average last year.

Security Bank Corp. Chief Economist Robert Dan J. Roces said in a Viber message that the faster growth of retail prices of bulding materials may have been due to building inflationary pressure in the construction sector.

“Although the growth rate is slower than the previous year, the price increase could indicate improving demand and easing supply chain disruptions as the economy recovers gradually,” Mr. Roces added.

Meanwhile, the PSA attributed the quicker CMRPI growth rate to the faster miscellaneous construction materials index with 0.8% growth, a turnaround from the 1.5% contraction in March.

This was followed by plumbing materials (0.3% from -0.2%); tinsmithry materials (2.6% from 2.4%); painting materials and related compounds (2.2% from 2%); and carpentry materials (0.3% from 0.2%).

Of the seven commodity groups, only masonry materials declined to 0.3% in April from the 0.2% contraction in March, while electrical materials steadied at 0.9%. — Andrea C. Abestano