CHICAGO—Fitch Ratings has just released itsannual outlook report for the US building materials industry andprojects strong growth in overall construction spendingduring 2015. The private sector should be particularly strongand help boost construction spending by 7%. “Public constructionspending remains constrained and is expected to increase onlyslightly next year,” Fitch researchers say.

In addition, Fitch expects revenue growth to average 8% to 10%for building materials companies in 2015, driven by organic growthas well as acquisitions completed this year. Coupled with thesector's projected growth in margins and slightly lower debtlevels, this should lead to modest improvement in credit metrics,the researchers add.

“The modest recovery in the US construction market and ourexpectation of a moderate improvement in credit metrics aregenerally factored into the current ratings and outlooks,” saysRobert Rulla, a director at Fitch.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.