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PCA’s Sullivan maintains moderate cement shipment growth forecast

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

Weighing market data and conservative baseline estimates for infrastructure spending and tax reform, PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan projects U.S. cement shipments increasing at 3.5 percent rates for 2017 and 2018. “While fiscal stimulus will boost consumption, other economic indicators will temper growth,” he told attendees of the IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Conference in Calgary. “Infrastructure policies also take time to implement, so you could be looking at 11 to 22 months before new projects truly get underway.”

Tax reform will have a key impact on cement consumption, as it drives consumer spending and confidence that play heavily with the housing sector. “When you hire a worker, you hire a taxpayer,” Sullivan observed, noting that additional funds generated from consumer taxes and spending will help drive moderate growth in public construction and housing markets. “The underlying fundamentals supporting economic growth are positive, though we’ll maintain a watch on how the U.S. government addresses possible inflation and immigration policy,” he concluded.