India: The credit ratings agency ICRA has downgraded its forecast for cement demand growth to 3.5 – 4% for the 2017 - 2018 financial year due to a slow first half of the year. It blamed the slow first half on a sand shortage in some regions, the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and slowed construction activity in the west, according to the Press Trust of India. The agency expects demand to be subdued during the second quarter of the year due to weather and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
However, it forecasts demand to rebound afterwards as housing demand and infrastructure projects pick up. In July 2017 the agency had predicted a growth rate of 5%.