At last week’s World of Concrete in Las Vegas, Portland Cement Association (PCA) Executive Vice President and Chief Economist Ed Sullivan predicted moderate growth in 2019 for the overall U.S. economy and in cement consumption. This was Sullivan’s first glimpse of his upcoming spring forecast for PCA’s Market Intelligence Group.
“The U.S. economy’s long run of growth should continue in 2019,” said Sullivan. “Since 2011, we have averaged 2 million jobs being created each year and the unemployment rate is below 4 percent. Despite the headlines, the impact in the near term of the rising interest rates and inflation are relatively benign. Simply put, fundamentals like these take a long time to unwind.”
He added, “The projected cement consumption will slow modestly from 2018 in 2019. The gradual increases in interest rates, the aging recovery, and accompanied trade issues may contribute to the slowdown in the cement market.”
Sullivan is predicting an annual cement production increase of 2.6 percent in 2019; 1.6 percent, 2020; 0.8 percent, 2021; 1.8 percent, 2022; and 2.1 percent in 2023.