The Portland Cement Association (PCA) forecasts a 7.5-percent increase in cement consumption in 2012, up 50 basis points from its summer forecast. However, due to the economic uncertainties, these figures may change again.
If Congress resolves the fiscal cliff before the end of 2012, PCA expects cement consumption in 2013 to increase by 6 percent. Adversely, if the fiscal cliff is not resolved — even if Congress addresses the policies by the first quarter of 2013 — cement consumption will likely drop by 2.7 percent.
Ed Sullivan, PCA chief economist, said either outcome is equally possible, so PCA has adopted a forecasting approach to minimize up and downside risk, which blends the two possible outcomes. The result is a projected 1.8-percent increase in cement consumption in 2013.
Additionally, PCA reported cement consumption through September 2012 had increased 10 percent compared to last year, with 16 consecutive months of growth.
To see more economic research from PCA, visit cement.org/econ.