(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
May 30 - Volumes showed across-the-board increases for most U.S. building materials subsets this past quarter, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest quarterly building materials report.
This was a somewhat unusual development compared to past quarters, where improvement was only evident in select categories. The volume expansion for building materials was aided by growth in overall construction spending as well as favorable weather conditions during the first quarter.
As a result, all Fitch-rated building materials companies saw higher year-over-year revenues for 1Q'12 compared to the same period last year. This is an encouraging sign for the sector, though it remains too early to tell if this is the start of a sustainable trend.
The full report, 'Building Materials Volume and Pricing Trends: First-Quarter 2012' is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. (Caryn Trokie, New York Ratings Unit)