Attendees at the World of Concrete trade show feel slightly optimistic about the possibility of an economic rebound with the recent uptick in construction employment. Vendors, likewise, felt some optimism as they have seen sales rise slightly. However, much of that was due to the need to replace worn-out equipment rather than to deal with new construction. Meanwhile, single-family home starts this year will need about 768,000 metric tons of concrete, according to Ed Sullivan, chief economist at PCA. Sullivan also sees a 5% gain from today's levels in cement construction in 2013 and 2014.

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