Cement Americas

WIN 2019

Cement Americas provides comprehensive coverage of the North and South American cement markets from raw material extraction to delivery and tranportation to end user.

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www.cementamericas.com • Winter 2019 • CEMENT AMERICAS 13 America's Cement Manufacturers TM Cement Consumption Growth to Falter Over Next Two Years The Portland Cement Association (PCA) Market Intelligence Group forecast for cement consumption over the next two years, shows less growth compared with 2018. This year's rate of change is 2.9 percent; growth recedes to 2.6 percent in 2019 and to 1.6 percent in 2020. "We are expecting relatively modest but sustained interest rate increases after 10 years of low and stable rates," said PCA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Ed Sullivan. "The Federal Reserve's actions will gradually slow the con- struction sector's growth due to, among other things, the higher mortgage rates for residential buildings and higher borrowing cost for nonresidential buildings." Sullivan added, "While the tax cuts passed at the end of 2017 have helped to boost the overall economy, the rising debt will frame the discussion of future federal public infra- structure spending." PCA's overall projection for the U.S. economy suggests the considerable strength that will take time to unravel. The seeds of a gradual softening will arise from rising interest rates, the emergence of fiscal difficulties at the state level at a time of relative prosperity, and the aging of the recov- ery. PCA forecasts the GDP growth rate to be 3.1 percent this year, 2.7 percent in 2019 and 2.2 percent in 2020. The unemployment rate, currently below 4 percent, is expected to trend down – intensifying labor shortages and leading to stronger wage gains. "America's economy is unquestionably strong and resil- ient," said Sullivan. "The real GDP growth is healthy, wage growth is up, and both the unemployment rate and con- sumer household debt are at near record lows. While inter- est rates are rising, they have not reached a threshold that would cause a significant adjustment to the positive overall growth projections." PCA Elects 2019 Board of Directors Leadership The Portland Cement Association (PCA) announced that Tom Beck, president of Continental Cement Co., has been elected chairman of the PCA board of directors, and Ron Henley, president of GCC of America, was elected vice chairman. Both were elected at the PCA Board Meeting on Oct. 30, 2018. Beck takes over PCA board chairmanship from Allen Hamblen, president and CEO of CalPortland Co. "As chairman of PCA's board of directors Allen Hamblen strengthened the cement industry in many ways," said Beck. "In taking over this important position I view my role as being part of a relay team. Allen has simply passed the baton to me for the next couple of years. We must continue to be more focused, efficient and effective. That includes continuing our alliance with the National Ready Mix Con- crete Association and the American Concrete Pavement Association so that each association can focus on their core strengths as we all strive to produce better results." "PCA board of directors plays a critical role in determining our legislative, regulatory and business priorities," said PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland. "Allen Hamblen was an amazing chairman, and I believe similar accolades will be in order after Tom Beck's tenure ends. I look forward to work- ing closely with our leadership team over the next year." A past chairman of the American Concrete Pavement Asso- ciation, Beck served as senior vice president at Continental Cement from 1996 to 2013, and held a variety of positions with Holnam from 1987 to 1996. Prior to joining GCC of America, Henley was president of Boral Construction Materials. He is also a Board member of the Denver Scholarship Fund. PCA Reacts to EPA's New Rule on WOTUS The Portland Cement Association applauded the Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for their proposed rule revising the defi- nition of 'Waters of the United States' (WOTUS). This new proposal would provide long needed certainty to individuals and business in understanding their right to use their private lands, and allow states to carry out their longstanding role in ensuring sustainable and productive land use. "Previously conflicting U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the Clean Water Act left manufacturers without a clear and consistent set of criteria for when the law would impact their businesses," said Portland Cement Association Pres- ident and CEO Mike Ireland. "Unfortunately, the EPA's pri- or attempts to clarify those criteria did little to reduce the uncertainty while expanding the reach of the federal gov- ernment. This expanded reach posed a threat to the ability of cement manufacturers to provide cement for our coun- try's infrastructure."

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