The Portland Cement Association (PCA) confirmed the U.S. cement industry is on target to see annual cement consumption grow by 4 percent, as projected earlier this year. According to PCA, cement consumption through the end of the year is expected to continue at a steady pace, with additional demand coming from several areas, including moderate residential spending and, to a lesser extent, growth in nonresidential and public construction activity. Further, PCA said favorable monetary policy from the Federal Reserve will support construction activity for the next two years.
“A key factor for continued growth for the cement industry is steady growth in construction spending, also projected to be up 4 percent,” said PCA Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Edward J. Sullivan. “This is very much in line with the overall U.S. economy’s slow-albeit-positive growth path.”
Sullivan noted that PCA has forecasted growth despite some conflicting economic indicators from elsewhere in the economy. “Despite some ups and downs in the U.S. economy, the underlying economic fundamentals are solid,” he said.
For example, PCA noted the labor market has consistently seen a net monthly increase of roughly 200,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate below 5 percent. PCA also projects real GDP will grow 1.5 percent in 2016, and 2.2 percent in 2017.
PCA’s Market Intelligence Group provides data and insights on fundamental economic issues, including cement forecasts throughout the year.