Slowdown predicted by cement industry economist
The latest economic forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) indicates no growth in cement consumption for the rest of 2010, followed by a small increase next year.
The Skokie, Ill., trade association said that the “economic momentum that was gathering steam early in the year has dissipated to a large extent,” resulting in a predicted 0.3% rise in cement consumption in 2010. Next year the consumption of cement should grow by 1.4%, the organization said, with a 4% increase expected in 2012. A period of sustained growth is forecasted for 2013 and beyond.
“Unfortunately, future gains in construction activity are dictated by labor conditions today,” said Edward Sullivan, PCA’s chief economist. “Slow job growth leads to slower home purchases and start activity. It undermines the speed at which state deficits can heal impacting public construction, and implies low occupancy rates for the non-residential market.”
While small percentage gains could characterize each of these segments during the next two years, substantive cement consumption volume gains are unlikely to materialize until 2013, the PCA said. This implies a phase of cement consumption reflecting only modest growth for the near term.
Lowe’s announces military discounts
Lowe’s will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged and retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10% discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available Nov. 11 to 15.
The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via Lowes.com, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards.
The retailer will also give away bumper stickers that say “Thank You” to our troops. A limited quantity of “Thank You” stickers, with an image of the American flag, will be available in-store during the Veterans Day weekend.
Unemployment rate stuck at 9.6%
The all-important jobs picture showed some improvement in October, but the unemployment rate remains stuck at 9.6%.