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PCA News

April 04, 2018

Cement Manufacturers Forecast Modest Growth in 2018 and 2019

           Impacts from Infrastructure Stimulus Likely to Hit Late 2019, 2020

April 4, 2018 – Skokie, Ill
. – The Portland Cement Association (PCA) today released its annual Spring Forecast which envisions modest growth for cement consumption over the next two years. PCA’s Market Intelligence Group estimates consumption to grow by 2.8 percent in both 2018 and 2019, and then to climb by 4 percent in 2020 as impacts from potential federal infrastructure spending are likely to take effect.  The analysis estimates consumption at 99.3 million metric tons in 2018, 102.1 million in 2019 and 106.1 million by the end of 2020.  

A variety of positive economic factors – such as a strong economy, job market and anticipated increase in infrastructure spending – “suggest a modest acceleration in real GDP, construction markets and cement consumptions,” said Ed Sullivan, PCA senior vice president and chief economist.  

The PCA analysis projects that robust infrastructure spending isn’t likely to occur until the fourth quarter of 2019, given the key steps that must occur – including passage of an infrastructure bill, federal and state paperwork, bid letting and review, and finally contract awards leading to construction.  

Whatever infrastructure plan actually materializes, “it will take time to implement a construction infrastructure program from passage in Congress to the first shovel. This is an aspect often neglected by many economists,” Sullivan noted. “PCA has evaluated the time each process takes to impact actual construction activity. As a result, the timing of PCA’s impact of an infrastructure program on actual construction is later than most economists estimate.”  

While interest rates and inflation are expected to see slight increases, consumer debt is low – thereby adding to potential growth in consumer spending.  

“These factors suggest a modest acceleration in real GDP, construction markets and cement consumption,” said Sullivan. “Add in benefits from tax reform and we will likely see the economy improving at a more brisk pace.”  

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ed Sullivan, contact Holly Arthur, harthur@cement.org.

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The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers. PCA members represent 93 percent of U.S. cement production capacity and have facilities in all 50 states. The association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution and generally promotes economic growth and sound infrastructure investment.

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