US: The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has releases a two-year forecast of moderate growth in cement consumption between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021. It projected growth of 1.7% in 2020, slowing slightly to 1.4% in 2021, corresponding to 2.1% and 1.7% GDP growth annually. Speaking at the 38th International Cement Seminar in Atlanta, PCA senior vice president and chief economist Ed Sullivan projected consumption growth of 1.6% – 2.3% in 2019 against GDP growth of 2.4% over the period, with consumption bolstered by the 2018 Federal Budget, which allowed for US$20bn in infrastructure investments in 2018 and 2019. He noted growing uncertainty (21% in 2019) with the expiry of the ‘pent-up demand zip that invigorates the initial stages of economic recovery long past.’
Rising house prices and mild inflation signify the continuation of the US economy’s longest expansion post-World War Two, with 161,000 net new jobs generated so far in 2019. With a forecasted population increase of 60m by 2040, US cement producers appears still have their work cut out in keeping up with demand.