Economist charts highway bill’s positive effect on cement demand through 2020

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

Taking stock of highway and transit program funding levels in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law earlier this month, PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan sees attendant increases in cement and concrete demand for FY 2016–2020.

“FAST represents an average addition of 835,000 metric tons annually to the cement industry,” he affirms. “Smaller increases occur in the near term, 370,000 tons for 2016, and larger net increases occur in the out years, [to] 1.4 million tons for 2020.”

FAST is seen largely as an improvement over the previous MAP-21, which expired in September after a 30-month funding window. The new federal highway program has modestly higher funding levels and, with a nearly five-year horizon, positions states to plan multi-year projects.

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