Thursday, August 12, 2004
Are Protectionist Deals to Blame for Increasing Commodity Prices?
This WSJ article and this USA Today piece report on separate examples of a single trend: Sharply rising raw-material costs are starting to hurt the construction and home-remodeling businesses, which have helped sustain the economy through recent tough times.
The Journal reports on rising lumber costs: "The wholesale price of low-grade boards and plywood used in home-improvement projects like decks and additions is up 24% from June of last year, according to the government's producer price index. An ordinary eight-foot-long, two-by-four, a common type of lumber used for building construction, costs $2.95 today, up from about $1.85 in January 2003." (more)