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Building materials wholesale price growth slows in NCR

PRICE GROWTH of construction materials in the National Capital Region (NCR) eased at the wholesale level in March, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Monday.

Citing preliminary data, the PSA said the March construction materials wholesale price index (CMWPI) rose 0.8%, easing from 1% a month earlier and 7.5% a year earlier.

In the first quarter, the CMWPI averaged 1.1%, well off the 8.4% year-earlier pace.

It was also the weakest CMWPI reading since the 0.7% posted in December 2019.

Of the 19 categories of commodity, five posted accelerated price growth, seven saw easing growth, five were unchanged, and two commodities posted price declines.

Driving the CMWPI rise was fuel and lubricants which posted price growth of 8.7%, up from 8% in February.

Commodities where price growth slowed were hardware (3.4% from 4.8%); G.I. sheets (3.2% from 3.6%); painting works (2.3% from 4.1%); electrical works (1.8% from 2.7%); structural steel (1.6% to 2.5%); plywood (1.3% from 2.3%); and metal products (0.8% from 1.1%)

Commodities where growth was flat were plumbing fixtures and accessories or waterworks (3.7%); doors, jambs, and steel casements (1%); lumber (0.6%); concrete products (0.5%); and asphalt (0%).

The indices for reinforcing steel and cement declined in March at minus 1.1% and minus 1.7%, respectively. — Lourdes O. Pilar