Construction Cost Indexes - Great Information for Owners

Many contractors, owners, architects and others involved with construction want a measure of how much construction costs have risen. There is no single way to answer that question. Instead, the below linked tables compiled by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) show numerous measures of price changes produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that can provide answers to a variety of questions about construction costs.

Each row in the tables shows the BLS series identifier and name for an index, and two groups of percentage changes. The first group shows the 12-month percentage change for the years ending December 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The second group shows price changes in the latest month from 1, 3 and 12 months before. Indented index names show that the item is a subset of the last un-indented item above it; this relationship is also shown in BLS’s numbering system, which assigns one or more extra digits to subcategories.

Broad measures of final demand

The most widely reported measure of inflation is the monthly consumer price index for all urban consumers, CPI-U (series CUUR0000SA0). This index measures prices paid by consumers and is not appropriate for purchases by businesses and government. To track costs of those purchases, BLS has created a large number of monthly producer price indexes (PPIs), along with the quarterly employment cost index (ECI) for wages, salaries and benefits paid by employers.

In February 2014, BLS introduced the PPI for final demand (WPUFD4). This index is more comprehensive than the older PPI for finished goods in that the newer index incorporates changes in the costs of services and construction purchased by businesses and government as well as goods.


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