Prices of construction materials in Metro Manila dropped towards the end of last year, due to a decline in private building activities during the last quarter of 2005, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said. The overall drop in construction material prices in November and December 2005 were mainly attributed to falling prices of fuels and lubricants, as well as structural steel. Prices of these imported products have been declining due to the strengthening of the peso. From an exchange rate of P56-to-a-dollar, the peso surged to about P52 for every dollar due to the influx of remittances from Filipinos abroad.
Prices of fuels and lubricants dropped by 2.7 per cent in December, due to cheaper bunker fuel oil, and lubricating oil. Aside from these items, NSO reported falling prices of paints, lumber, and cement.