PCA sees accelerating US cement demand

By Chris Sleight26 November 2013

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) expects the US to consume some 80 million tonnes of cement this year, a +4.5% increase on 2012. Its forecast for next year is a further +8.1% increase to 86 million tonnes.

However, it cautioned that construction markets could be hampered by continued political deadlock, which would have a knock-on effect to consumer confidence.

PCA group vice president and chief economist Edward Sullivan said, “American consumers love drama. Moreover, Congress knows how to create it, with more on the way when the debt ceiling talks resume in early in 2014. Each time the political circus on Capitol Hill addresses extensions of the debt limit, budget approvals or the fiscal cliff, it harms the burgeoning economic momentum.”

Consumer and business confidence is a key ingredient for stronger economic gains, said Mr Sullivan. He said that while the economy is positioned for better growth, it needs consumers and businesses to start reinvesting capital to realise this potential.

By 2018, the end of the PCA forecast horizon, cement consumption is expected to reach nearly 119 million tonnes, roughly -3% below the last cyclical peak in 2005. This implies a 14-year recovery, it said.

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