For the second consecutive month, national prices for construction materials and supplies increased, rising 0.9 percent in February after an increase of 0.4 percent in January, according to the U.S. Labor Department's March 15 producer price index report. Materials prices were up 4.4 percent compared with February 2011. "Various leading indicators of construction - including Associated Builders and Contractors' (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator - point to rising demand for construction services in the year ahead," said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.