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Global Panorama: North America

World Cement,

North America

The IMF has said the US economy will grow 3.1% this year, faster than last year’s 2.4%, but lower than the January 2015 figure of 3.6%. It commented that US consumption ‘has benefited from steady job creation and income growth, lower oil prices and improved consumer confidence’. PCA’s Chief Economist, Ed Sullivan, in his spring forecast projected that total cement consumption would increase by 7.5% from last year and continue to grow in 2016 by 7.9%. He cited this as proof that the US economy is healing. He said: “Industry projections continue to be in line with generally improving economic construction fundamentals”. Sullivan also said that cement and clinker imports would increase to 36.6% in 2017 and grow at an even higher rate in 2018.

After five years of contraction, the cement industry in Canada is said to be growing slightly this year. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates that CAN$123 billion will be needed to bring the country’s crumbling infrastructure up to ‘scratch’ and an estimated CAN$115 billion to meet growing demands. If contracts for concrete roads win the day, then this would be good news for the cement industry. The controversial 6000 tpd McInnis Cement plant is currently under construction at Port-Daniel-Gascons. ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions, US, is supplying the full cement line.

The massive programme of structural reform in Mexico that the government embarked on in 2012 is beginning to bear fruit. The credit insurance company Euler Hermes says that the economy grew by 2.3% in 2014 and is expected to grow by 3.2% this year. The revival in the US economy is one of the factors that is increasing the speed of growth in Mexico. The situation is probably best summed up by BlackRock Inc’s Chief Executive, Larry Fink: “Mexico is finally beginning to unlock its true potential as an economic powerhouse. Over the next few decades, capital is going to flow more effectively. It will be easier and easier to do business.”

Written by Paul Maxwell-Cook. This is an excerpt from World Cement's July 2015 issue. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the July 2015 issue here.

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