The Portland Cement Association (PCA) announced that U.S. cement consumption is on track to see 2.7 percent growth in 2016, making a downward revision of a previous annual growth estimate of 4 percent reported earlier this year. The association also revised its 2017 U.S. cement consumption forecast to 3.1 percent growth, from 4.2 percent growth, crediting a combination of post-election political uncertainty, inflation and slower construction activity as negative pressures on the economic horizon.
“President-elect Trump continues to shape his cabinet and policies, thus making it difficult to forecast potential outcomes at this point,” said PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan. “The impact of uncertainty is expected to be compounded by increased inflationary expectations which will impact long-term bonds and loans, such as mortgages – to the detriment of cement consumption.”
In the meantime, PCA offered three potential political scenarios in its forecast that could shape policy priorities. These scenarios take into account various levels of political support from Congress, as well as possible shifts in the President-elect’s previously announced policy objectives that impact cement consumption.
“While these could be considered high-medium-low pathways, each are predicated on one of three political scenarios,” Sullivan said. “In reality, the laws of permutation suggest there are many more potential outcomes. Ultimately, we will have to reexamine the road ahead in the months ahead.”