Following two years of relative price stability, 2017 started with a round of price increases by the major valve manufacturers ranging from 3.0 to 7.0 percent. Sharp and sustained increases for the prices of common base metals were a driving factor, and as there has been little change here since last report, no further price actions have been reported. Copper and zinc were flat, and nickel was down roughly 8.0 percent, although costs for all three remain high relative to last year.
Overall, the market outlook remains strong. Residential construction spending was up 0.3 percent in January and 5.5 percent year-over-year. Commercial (building) construction was down 0.5 percent but still up 8.3 percent year-over-year.