A bumpy recovery

Published 02 July 2014

While Central America offers a healthy potential for infrastructure development and housing construction, limited economic growth and investment are expected to hinder a corresponding rise in cement demand going forward. In addition, the rapid build-up of capacity has resulted in lower utilisation rates across the region. By Rob Roy, ROI Economic Consulting, USA.

Panama (pictured) is the fastest-growing cement market in Central America, followed by Guatemala

Central America has struggled to recover from the Great Recession which began in the fall of 2008. Real GDP declined in 2009 in Mexico (-4.7 per cent), Costa Rica (-1 per cent), El Salvador (-3.1 per cent), Honduras (-2.4 per cent) and Nicaragua (-2.2 per cent). Real 2009 GDP inched up 0.3 per cent in Belize and 0.5 per cent in Guatemala. Even booming Panama grew only 3.9 per cent that year. Except for Panama, these countries have experienced 1-3 per cent less economic growth per year since 2009 than in the five years preceding the Great Recession.

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