A 6% increase was instituted in June 2016, which was the first such increase in almost two years. Drivers included sharply rising raw material costs along with continued rising health-care and labor costs. A strengthening demand for U.S.-made product, particularly in the utility sector, accounted for stable unit growth. Domestic suppliers report ample capacity to meet any further growth.
Driven by increased manufacturing costs, various manufacturers announced an 8% increase in April, which took hold this summer. China is the primary importer of this product line. Manufacturers report sufficient inventory to meet market needs as demand has softened.