In its latest forecast, PCA maintains its forecast for steady growth in construction and cement consumption over the next five years. Growth of 7.9% is expected for cement consumption this year, up from the 4.5% increase experienced in 2013. Double-digit growth of 10% is forecast in 2015 and 2016.
“There is considerable evidence that the economy’s growth path has softened during the past several months,” PCA chief economist and group vice president Edward Sullivan said. “But we believe that the underlying economic fundamentals are stronger than the data suggest.”
Real GDP weakened considerably during the 4Q13 to 2.6% from 4.1% in 3Q13. Preliminary first quarter estimates growth at a meagre 0.1%. Furthermore, consumer confidence has recorded setbacks, mortgage applications have recorded sustained weekly declines, the housing market has stalled, and real put-in-place construction activity has slowed. This decline is largely attributed to the severe winter weather experienced across the US in 4Q13 and 1Q14.
“The weather conditions had an obvious impact on cement consumption – limiting construction and concrete use. The northern states and much of the east coast were hit hard, with year-over-year losses of as much as 25%,” Sullivan said. “However, despite this drag, nation-wide cement recorded gains. Through the first quarter, cement consumption increased 4.5% compared to the same period in 2013.”
Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/15052014/pca_maintains_cement_consumption_forecast_197/