Rock Products Logo

Lafarge Releases Fourth-Quarter Results

Lafarge reported a net loss $51.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, but the news was not all bad for the cement and aggregates producer. Sales increased for the full year and quarter, helped by improved cement and aggregates volume trends, favorable foreign exchange, and new capacities in Brazil, according to the company.

Read more: Lafarge Releases Fourth-Quarter Results

New Housing Starts Jump 14.6 Percent

Nationwide housing starts rose 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units in January, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The gain was due to a 77.7 percent increase in the multifamily sector, where significant month-to-month swings in activity are not unusual and where new building has been below expectations for the past several months, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Meanwhile, single-family housing starts remained virtually flat for the month, with a 1.0 percent decline.

"Considering the abnormally poor weather conditions that prevailed across most of the country last month, along with the continuing difficulty that builders are having in obtaining financing for new construction, the fact that single-family starts held virtually unchanged while multifamily starts posted solid gains is encouraging," said Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "Any gain in housing production means more people are being put back to work, and is a sign that builders are preparing for improving demand for new homes in the spring."

Read more: New Housing Starts Jump 14.6 Percent

PCA Applauds Passage Of Congressional Resolution to Suspend EPA Funding

Last week's passage of an appropriations rider halting funding to a recent emissions rule-making for the portland cement industry is the first step towards regulations that protect American lives and American jobs, according to the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

Read more: PCA Applauds Passage Of Congressional Resolution to Suspend EPA Funding

Obama Budget Proposal Starts Transportation Reauthorization Debate

The Obama Administration offered a starting point for a multi-year transportation reauthorization as part of its FY 2012 budget proposal. The Administration outlined a six-year, $556 billion surface transportation program — one that would radically change the program’s scope and structure, although the budget failed to adequately address how the proposed six-year program would be funded.

Read more: Obama Budget Proposal Starts Transportation Reauthorization Debate