Robust construction activity unlikely until 2005

Robust construction activity unlikely until 2005
Published: 19 December 2003

The US economy is set to move into high gear in 2004 according to the latest economic forecast from the Portland Cement Association. The optimistic outlook arrives courtesy of recent improvements in US labour markets; however, PCA does not expect robust construction activity to arrive until 2005.  Chief economist Edward Sullivan explains, ³The seemingly contradictory outlook is based on the prospects of cooling single-family construction under the weight of rising interest rates, a delayed and muted improvement in commercial construction activity, and a public construction sector still coping with state-level fiscal crises.²  PCA reports the emerging economic recovery will create jobs, escalate wage gains, and lead to stronger capital gains. Combined, these factors will strengthen states¹ tax base, resulting in a gradual easing of fiscal stress. PCA projects 2.7 to 3.0 per cent growth in cement consumption for 2005-2008.