An increasing unemployment rate, higher inflation, and low consumer sentiment will combine to have lingering negative effects on the US economy and, hence, on cement consumption and the construction industry.
The latest Portland Cement Association (PCA) forecast of cement, concrete, and construction predicts a 12 per cent decline in cement consumption in 2008, followed by another six per cent drop in 2009.
The combination of high home inventories, weak economy-wide demand conditions, and poor state budget conditions is expected to hit all sectors of construction – residential, non-residential, and public.
PCA predicts a recovery to begin in 2010, but more modest than previously forecasted. Total cement consumption in 2010 is expected to increase 2.7 per cent from 2009 levels.