Economy & Market
Modest cement demand growth for 2012, says PCA
According to the new forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA), increases in cement consumption will follow. PCA revised its fall forecast upward, anticipating a modest 3.7 per cent increase in 2012, followed by a 7.6 per cent jump in 2013 and a 14.1 per cent increase in 2014.
The forecast includes marginal improvements to non-residential construction, an upward revision to housing starts and an aggressive cement intensity gain, which is the amount of cement used per real dollar of construction activity.
"Cement usage is greatest at the early stages of construction with foundation work. The retreat of building starts during the recession had a huge impact on consumption and intensity,"
Ed Sullivan, PCA chief economist
said. "A construction start rebound in 2012 coupled with concrete's competitive price compared to other building materials translates to increases." He added.
He also said, "With successive years of economic and employment growth, the structural issues facing the construction industry will diminish". For example, foreclosures' adverse impact will fade, and return on investment for nonresidential investments will improve. Partially because of these improvements, state deficits will eventually be replaced by surpluses. PCA forecasts all sectors of construction to be positive.