PCA expects minimal cement growth until 2013

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US: Despite recovery momentum in late 2010, the US economy is again in a slowdown, according to the most recent economic forecast by the Portland Cement Association (PCA), which says that the slowdown will weaken construction activity and restrain gains in cement consumption until 2013.

The PCA downgraded its cement consumption growth forecast to 0.2% for 2011, 0.4% in 2012 with a significant 16.4% increase in 2013. According to the report, uncertainty regarding highway spending legislation and government policy related to the debt crisis will cause a negative drag on construction activity for the next few years.

"Our previous forecast had assumed the new highway bill would be 20% higher than existing levels but we now believe the funding will remain at current levels," said PCA chief economist Edward Sullivan. "A lack of highway funding and reduced consumer, business and bank confidence due to the debt crisis will all slow down construction recovery."

According to Sullivan, economic recovery from the recession will be led by a strengthening of confidence in these areas. Without a sustained improvement, private sector fundamentals such as job creation, investment and ease in lending standards will not be released in full force and commit the economy to a path of improvement.

Last modified on 22 November 2011

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