PCA revises its forecast, doubles expected increase

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Cement consumption on the rise, PCA says.Cement consumption on the rise, PCA says.

The Portland Cement Association has revised its spring forecast, and now anticipates a 6.9 percent increase in cement consumption in 2012, followed by a 5.8 percent jump in 2013 and a 10.9 percent increase in 2014. This nearly doubles the expected increase in cement consumption for the  year predicted by PCA in April.

Reasons cited: favorable weather conditions, gains in residential and non-residential construction and “robust gains in cement intensities.” (Cement intensity is the amount of cement used per real dollar of construction activity.)

“We expect to see a 5.5 percent gain on real construction activity this year after seven consecutive years of decline,” says Ed Sullivan, PCA’s chief economist. All is not rosy, however, says Sullivan. Uncertainty will characterize the near-term economic outlook. For example, job creation is still a critical ingredient to recovery.