The April edition of The Monitor, a monthly analysis of trends in the construction and cement industries published by the Portland Cement Association, reports that the recent U.S. victory in Iraq will increase the speed of economic recovery and the magnitude of economic growth for 2003. Despite the growth outlook, construction spending is expected to decrease modestly during 2003, with robust activity predicted for 2004.
Key statistics from the April edition of The Monitor are:
* Portland cement consumption declined 1.3% in January, the fourth consecutive monthly decline;
* Blended cement consumption increased a sharp 30.1% after weakness in most of the fourth quarter of last year;
* Masonry cement consumption was essentially flat in January, declining a fractional 0.3% from year-ago levels; and
* Cement and clinker imports increased 2.8% in December. For all of 2002, imports declined by 6.5%.