Quick passage of an economic stimulus package followed by the almost immediate start of “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects in 2009 could increase cement consumption for next year, according to a recent report by the Portland Cement Association.
Without a stimulus package, 2009 cement consumption was projected to decrease 15.1 percent compared to 2008 levels, with an additional 8 percent forecasted for 2010. However, with an economic stimulus package that provides for infrastructure funding as well as state aid, consumption in 2009 could only be down 8.6 percent and 2010 could see an increase of 5.3 percent.
“The near-term stimulus to the economy can be enhanced by reducing the portion of the plan targeting tax cuts and placing more emphasis on state aid and traditional infrastructure spending,” PCA chief economist Ed Sullivan said at a press conference at the World of Concrete. “Only if tax, state-aid, and ‘shovel-ready’ programs materialize quickly might the rate of decline in cement consumption be moderated late in the year.” ? www.cement.org