The annual World of Concrete equipment show opened to eager crowds in Las Vegas on Jan. 22. Despite some worries over funding shortfalls on public projects due to the U.S. federal government shutdown, contractors are upbeat, and event organizers tell ENR attendance is on track to exceed the total for recent years. A rosy economic forecast from the Portland Cement Association sees low unemployment and slowly rising interest rates as prime indicators of a strong economy driving construction growth and increased cement consumption in the near future.