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Cement Group Predicts Growth in 2014

The Portland Cement Association expects 2013 cement consumption to total nearly 80 million metric tons, a 4.5 percent increase over 2012. Consumption levels are projected to reach 86 million metric tons in 2014, an 8.1 percent year-over-year gain.

In November, the Portland Cement Association (PCA) predicted a 1.3 percent real construction spending increase for 2013, but anticipates an eight percent increase this year. Roughly half of the growth anticipated for 2014 is expected to come from residential construction activity, where pent-up demand has driven home prices upward over the past year. The commercial and institutional sector will contribute another 25 percent, and the remainder is expected to come from public infrastructure projects. Robust growth rates in cement consumption typically materialize when each sector contributes and growth is broad-based.

PCA group vice president and chief economist Edward Sullivan believes that roadway construction reached a "trough point" in 2013, and "improving state finances could provide surpluses by 2015 that states can apply to neglected infrastructure spending."

"It has been some time since you could be this optimistic," Sullivan said during an address at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas last week.

By 2018, the end of the forecast horizon, Portland cement consumption is expected to reach nearly 119 million metric tons, roughly three percent below the past cyclical peak in 2005. This implies a 14-year recovery.

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October 15, 2019, 10:14 pm PDT

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