ARRA spending continues to decline

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

According to a recent PCA report, 77.3 percent of total American Recovery and Reinvestment Act highway funds have been dispersed through July, compared to 75.6 percent in June. July highway stimulus spending was $452 million, a 31 percent decrease from June’s spending rate. Against year-ago levels, July’s spending volumes declined 64 percent. Spending has averaged $529 million in the last three months compared to a $1.168 billion average for the same period last year.

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State economic recovery to vary depending on deficits, market strength

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

The national economy is expected to recover during 2011-2012, generating 2.5 million jobs in 2011 and 2.7 million in 2012. However, due to the over-supply characteristics in residential and commercial markets, coupled with persistent state deficits, construction activity may encounter a more prolonged recovery. According to a recent PCA report, relatively flat conditions will face the United States cement market for the next two years.

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Cement consumption forecast drops; lower prospective highway funding culprit

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

Uncertainty regarding highway spending legislation and government policy related to the debt crisis has caused the PCA cement consumption forecast to be downgraded from a 1.4 percent increase over 2010 figures to 0.2 percent for 2011.

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PCA: Cement Relief Act provides opportunity for thoughtful, appropriate regs

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

In late July, Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), along with a bipartisan group of their colleagues, introduced the “Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011” (H.R. 2681). The legislation requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to re-propose three recent environmental rules directed at the portland cement industry.

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