U.S. cement consumption to reach nearly 80 million tons

By |  December 2, 2013

Growth in U.S. construction markets could be dampened by Congressional drama that erodes consumer confidence and hinders recovery, according to the latest forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

“American consumers love drama. Moreover, Congress knows how to create it, with more on the way when the debt ceiling talks resume early in 2014,” says Edward Sullivan, PCA group vice president and chief economist, in a press release. “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.”

PCA expects 2013 cement consumption to reach nearly 80 million metric tons, a 4.5 percent increase over 2012. Consumption levels will reach 86 million metric tons in 2014, an 8.1 percent year-over-year gain.

Also, PCA predicts real construction spending to grow 1.3 percent in 2013 and by 8 percent in 2014. Sullivan believes the trough point for roadway construction was reached in 2013.

“Improving state finances could provide surpluses by 2015 that states can apply to neglected infrastructure spending,” he says.

By 2018, the end of the forecast horizon, Portland cement consumption is expected to reach nearly 119 million metric tons – roughly 3 percent below the past cyclical peak in 2005. This implies a 14-year recovery.

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