The Portland Cement Association (PCA) released its annual Fall Forecast, which predicts moderate growth for cement consumption through 2019 and into 2020. PCA Market Intelligence expects cement consumption will grow by 2.4% in 2019, 1.7% in 2020, and 1.4% in 2021.
“Public construction continues to receive the benefit of the 2018 federal budget that allowed for $20 billion in spending on roads, bridges, water, and rail projects over 2018 and 2019,” said Ed Sullivan, PCA senior vice president and chief economist. “These gains come in the context of increased challenges at the state level to manage deficits as entitlement spending growth continues at a strong pace.”
PCA’s analysis adds that the labor market continues to power the United States economy and on a monthly basis has generated 161,000 net new jobs since the start of the year. Coupled with mild inflation rates and the continued rise of home prices, it will take some time before the economy takes a significant downturn.
“The economy is now the longest economic expansion post-World War II history. Some of the pent-up demand zip that invigorates the initial stages of economic recovery are long past. As such, the economy is now more vulnerable to economic shocks,” said Sullivan. “While PCA does not believe data revealed by the economy suggests a recession is near, it does point to a gradually weakening economy.”
PCA forecasts real GDP will grow 2.4% this year and weaken in subsequent years to 2.1% in 2020 and 1.7% in 2021.