US cement consumption to reach nearly 80Mt in 2013

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US: The Portland Cement Association (PCA) expects 2013 cement consumption to reach nearly 80Mt, a 4.5% increase on 2012. Consumption levels are projected to reach 86Mt in 2014, an 8.1% year-on-year growth.

During 2014 it is possible that all construction sectors will record growth, according to the PCA. While the growth will be broad-based, half of it will come from residential construction activity where there is the largest amount of pent-up demand from the recession. The commercial and institutional sector will contribute another 25%. Typically, when each sector contributes to growth, robust growth rates in cement consumption materialises. Growth in US construction markets could, however, be dampened by congressional drama that erodes consumer confidence and hinders recovery, according to the latest forecast.

"American consumers love drama. Moreover, congress knows how to create it, with more on the way when the debt ceiling talks resume in early in 2014," said Edward Sullivan, PCA group vice president and chief economist. "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." Consumer and business confidence is a key ingredient for stronger economic gains, said Sullivan. Congress could easily derail recovery momentum with political drama created by the federal shutdown and debt ceilings.

The PCA predicts real construction spending to grow by 1.3% in 2013 and by 8% in 2014. By 2018 cement consumption is expected to reach nearly 119Mt, 3% below the past cyclical peak in 2005. This implies a 14 year recovery.

Last modified on 27 November 2013

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