PCA updates US annual cement consumption forecast

PCA updates US annual cement consumption forecast
06 October 2017

Portland Cement Association's (PCA) Market Intelligence Group has forecast annual cement consumption to climb in the USA by 2.6 per cent during 2017 and 2.8 per cent in 2018.

The updated forecast adjusts downward PCA projections released earlier this year. Bad weather and lower than anticipated budgets for the public construction sector are among the factors that have prompted the adoption of a more modest growth outlook.

"Once infrastructure and tax reform initiatives take hold and affect economic and construction activity, then we can expect growth in cement consumption to accelerate to higher levels," said Ed Sullivan, PCA senior vice president and chief economist.

Sullivan noted the updated forecast assumes tax reform and a US$250bn national infrastructure programme spearheaded by the Trump administration and Congress, but this now isn't likely to begin until mid-2019. 

The dual fiscal stimuli will accelerate GDP growth, construction spending, and cement consumption. With unemployment expected to be even lower than today’s levels, these fiscal programmes will add to inflationary pressures.

PCA also noted that rising inflation will necessitate a stronger Federal Reserve reaction, which could result in a rapid, and perhaps larger-than-expected interest rate increase.

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