Cement Americas

APR 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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14 CEMENT AMERICAS • Spring 2019 • www.cementamericas.com FEATURE F or 37 years, the International Cement Seminar & Exhi- bition was one of the most anticipated annual events for the North American cement industry. After an extended hiatus, the show is back for its 38 th year. The 38 th International Cement Seminar & Exhibition will be held Nov. 19-21 in Atlanta at the Cobb Galleria Center. The show is being produced by Semco Publishing, the owner of Cement Americas, Rock Products and Concrete Products magazines, all of which are promoting the show. The theme of the show is Cement Technology and Transfor- mation in 2019. "With an industry that is facing growing opportunities along with new regulatory and social pressures, the time is right for the return of the International Cement Semi- nar," said Michael Schoppenhorst, show director. "With a focus on production equipment and technologies, the 2019 event will engage attendees with sessions designed to help them do business more efficiently and safely using the lat- est equipment and best practices." Industry Ripe for Growth At World of Concrete in Las Vegas, Ed Sullivan, executive vice president and chief economist for the Portland Cement Association, noted that the state of the economy is good. Sullivan's presentation is one of the highlights of the show each year. He is predicting cement production increases of 2.6 per- cent,1.6 percent, 0.8 percent, 1.8 percent and 2.1 percent from 2019 to 2023. He is predicting construction spending increases of 2.2 percent, 1.5 percent, 0.9 percent, 1.1 per- cent and 1.3 percent from 2019 to 2023. While discussing the state of the economy, Sullivan pointed to these factors as positives: • Sustained strong job creation and low unemployment rates. • Wage gains compounded by tax cuts. • Increase in home values generates wealth gains. • Household debt burdens are low and credit quality is strong, leading to easier access to credit. • Interest and inflation rates rise, but slowly and well below historical norms. • Willing and able consumers. Business taxes may add strength to investment. "All this will take time to unravel under normal cyclical con- ditions," Sullivan said. In the private sector, Sullivan noted that labor shortages persist. Inflationary pressures are ris- ing, in part due to U.S. fiscal policies. "The Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates," Sullivan said. Another trend to watch: prices are rising. Interest rates are also rising. Housing affordability is deteriorating. This will slowly erode residential cement consumption, according to Sullivan. There is also growing concern regarding Collateralized Loan Obligations ($1 trillion) and erosion in credit quality. This concern could slow credit. The International Cement Seminar Returns! Semco Publishing Brings Back the International Cement Seminar & Exhibition. By Mark S. Kuhar

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