One month of March without rains or without Holy Week has generated a 19.4% increase in cement consumption in Catalonia, according to the advanced data from the Cement Barometer. Despite this high monthly figure, the domestic market only grew by 3.9% during the first quarter of 2019. The changes of recent times do not allow us to establish a clear trend of recovery of the sector: in fact, in the interannual index, the consumption of cement in Catalonia shows a decrease of 3.2%.
This situation of the cement industry contrasts with that of the economy as a whole. The Spanish GDP accumulates 6 years of continuous growth of more than 2% per year, and is already higher than before the 2008 crisis. In contrast, cement sales are barely a quarter, and the fear of appear a new crisis without having recovered from the previous.
The limited investment activity of the public administrations, with budgets carried over, keeps the tender for works for the construction or conservation of infrastructures stopped. “The boom in residential construction – says Salvador Fernández Capo, president of Ciment Català – is limited to certain territories, and in no case is it enough to compensate for this inactivity of the public sector, which has led to the consumption of cement per capita in Catalonia is 33% lower than the average of the entire European Union”.