28 April 2010 20:45 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The construction sector remains a weak spot in the US economy despite an overall improving picture, while small gains in housing starts are from a low base, the policy-making committee of the US Federal Reserve Board said on Wednesday.
"Business spending on equipment and software has risen significantly; however, investment in non-residential structures is declining and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls," the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement.
"Housing starts have edged up but remain at a depressed level," it noted.
Residential and non-residential construction are key downstream demand sectors for a range of chemicals, including polymers, solvents and adhesives, paints, and other construction materials.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has estimated that each new home built represented around $16,000 (€12,160) worth of chemicals and derivatives used in the structure or in production of component materials.
The US housing market sprang back to life in March, but analysts cautioned that particularly harsh winter weather in January and February, as well as a tax credit that applied to home purchases before 31 March, helped artificially inflate the sector.
($1 = €0.76)
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