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The news adds to overall inflation woes, as the Consumer Price Index jumped 8.5% in March, its highest spike since 1981. The AGC’s construction alert was the seventh pricing alarm Simonson has sounded since March 2021. Before that, his employer hadn’t put out a similar warning since 2008, at the height of the Great Recession, and never with such an accelerated cadence.

Barry Wurzel, president and founder of commercial contractor Wurzel Builders in Austin, Texas, has seen those impacts first hand. 

“Suppliers are constantly repricing, and they’ll only hold their prices for 24 hours,” Wurzel said. “Owners haven’t embraced the change of pace yet, so it puts a strain on the relationship with general contractors.”

Chief among the culprits in the latest report was the price of diesel. It was up 33% in five weeks, leading to an all-time high of $5.25 per gallon on March 14. That added to the 237% jump that had already transpired between April 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and February 2022.