Business: Hard Times

Now, a cement shortage

For more than a year, one of the strengths in the U.S. economy has been the building industry, which has been booming as a result of high demand for new houses, and an abundance of fine weather for construction. Alas, times are so good that they are turning bad: builders are now grappling with a severe cement shortage.

After first appearing on the West Coast, shortages have cropped up throughout the Midwest and are now be deviling construction in the East, partly because West Coast builders have been snapping up supplies. As a...

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