Wednesday, June 7

Inflation in Building Supplies is Out of Control

I normally do not blog about anything relating to my job. Among other reasons, my job is not germane to the topics I blog about.

However, a situation is continuing to develop regarding building supplies, particularly metals. A roll of copper wire, which would have cost $15 in January 2005, and which cost me $38 in January 2006, costs (wait for it) $130 today.

Price quotations from electrical and plumbing supply shops are now only good for 3-4 hours. Pipe, wire, plate, lumber and other basic commodities have prices that increase by significant amounts daily.

Some of this is from demand in Asia. Some is due to increasing costs for oil, a fundamental input into just about everything.

However, a good part of this inflation (and the increase in oil prices) is due to our country's 5 year old policy to decrease the price of the dollar. A cheap dollar may have some benefits (increased price of imports, cheaper exports, etc.) Many of you reading this page have a better grasp of monetary policy than I. So I ask, are the benefits of a cheap dollar really worth the increased price we are all experiencing for basic commodities?

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