Construction materials’ cost in MM continue to scale up

RETAIL prices of construction materials in Metro Manila posted a new 12-month high in May 2022, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Based on the Construction Materials Retail Price Index (CMRPI), construction prices in the National Capital Region (NCR) grew 6.2 percent in the said month.

This is, so far, the highest for the year, followed by April at 6.1 percent and the 4.8 percent registered in March. In May last year, the CMRPI was at 1.2 percent.

“The CMRPI is a variant of the General Retail Price Index (GRPI), which measures changes in the prices used by retailers to sell their goods to consumers and end-users relative to a base year,” PSA said.

Four commodities drove the increase in the CMRPI: carpentry materials, which grew 2.1 percent in May; masonry goods by 3.9 percent; painting materials and related compounds, 4.1 percent; and those for tinsmithry, 8.3 percent.

Carpentry materials, PSA data showed, posted a 0.6-percentage point increase from the 1.5 percent posted in April 2022, the same rate in May 2021.

Retail prices for masonry materials posted an increase of 0.6 percentage points from the 3.3 percent posted in April 2022, and 2.4 percentage points up from the 1.5 percent posted in May 2021.

Retail prices for painting materials increased 0.4 percentage points from the 3.7 percent in April 2022, and 3.2 percentage points from the 0.9 percent registered in May 2021.

For tinsmithry retail prices, PSA data showed these increased by 0.2 percentage points from the 8.1 percent posted in April and 6.5 percentage points from May last year.

“An annual uptick in the miscellaneous construction materials index decelerated to 10.2 percent in May 2022, from 10.6 percent in April 2022,” PSA said. “Indices for electrical materials and plumbing materials retained their previous months’ rates of 4 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.”

Earlier, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association said it is meeting with major suppliers and producers of construction materials and other inputs to help cushion the impact of soaring prices.

Efforts to encourage developers to build more economic housing units, despite the spike in construction materials, include the recent increase in the price ceiling for such to P2.5 million, which was signed by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the National Economic and Development Authority, or Neda.

The market basket of the CMRPI is composed of 102 commodities, and classified into seven major groups: carpentry, electrical, masonry, painting and related compounds, plumbing, tinsmithry, and miscellaneous materials.

While the GRPI is computed monthly and comes out 36 days after the reference month, the CMRPI is available 15 days after the reference month.