Laborers work at a construction site in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

WHOLESALE and retail prices of construction materials continued to rise in the National Capital Region (NCR) in October, as economic activity picked up.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed wholesale prices of construction materials in NCR jumped by 11% year on year in October, the fastest since the revised 10.5% growth in September. The growth in prices is quicker than the 4.7% seen in October last year.

Year to date, wholesale prices of construction materials grew by 7.9%.

“The increase was primarily brought about by the double-digit annual increase in the index for galvanized iron sheet at 16.6%, from 12.7% in September 2022,” the PSA said.

Data showed faster year-on-year rise in wholesale prices for reinforcing and structural steel (13%), concrete products and cement (12.5%), sand and gravel (8.2%), lumber (7.7%), plywood (6.5%) and tileworks (4.1%).

Annual price increases slowed for hardware (7.6%), doors, jambs, and steel casement (6.6%), electrical works (7.9%), plumbing fixtures and accessories/waterworks (6.8%), painting works (11.5%), PVC pipes (2.7%), and fuels and lubricants (16.9%).

PSA data also showed the annual growth of wholesale price for glass and glass products remained 1.6% for six straight months. Prices of asphalt and machinery and equipment rental were unchanged.

In a separate report, the PSA said growth in the retail prices of construction materials sold in Metro Manila slowed to 6.6% in October compared with 6.8% in September. However, it is still higher than the 2.1% growth posted in the same period last year.

The October figure is the slowest growth rate since the 6.2% seen in May.

The average growth rate of retail prices from the January-to-October period reached 5.8%.

“The deceleration was mainly brought about by the lower annual growths in the indices of tinsmithry materials at 7.7% and plumbing materials at 6.5%,” the PSA said in the report.

Year-on-year increases were reported in commodity groups such as carpentry materials (3.4%), electrical materials (4.6%), masonry materials (4.4%), painting materials and related compounds (5.8%), and miscellaneous construction materials (11.1%).

In October, headline inflation accelerated to a near 14-year high 7.7%, from 6.9% in September and 4% in October 2021, as prices of food, utilities and other commodities rose. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave