Costs could spike 10% in wake of Hurricane Katrina

Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently predicted that construction materials may rise at least 10% next year in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Before the storm, Simonson had predicted a rise of 6% to 8%. According to him, contractors may also face increases in diesel fuel costs to operate off-road equipment. He warns that these increases may also surface as freight surcharges on deliveries to jobsites.

In his report, Simonson cites possible higher costs and/or supply disruptions for PVC pipe and other construction plastics, tires for off-road equipment, galvanized steel, gypsum products, and cement.