US economic uptick may be brief - chem council

18 April 2008 19:13  [Source: ICIS news]

US uptick may be shortHOUSTON (ICIS news)--Upbeat economic reports from the US could reflect a consistent trend of past recessions, in which such improvements are brief, a chemical trade group said on Friday.

Recently published reports for retail sales and industrial production were positive, according to Kevin Swift, chief economist for the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Swift made his comments in the group's weekly economic report.

Despite the recent good news, US consumers continue to struggle with high energy prices, rising unemployment and tightening credit, Swift said.

As such, Swift said that the recent upbeat economic reports could be temporary, a common occurrence in past downturns.

In other news, the US dollar hit new lows against the euro. The dollar's plunge, in turn, led to record highs for crude oil, Swift said.

All in all, the US economy should grow by 1.6% in 2008, according to a survey that the ACC conducts with economic forecasters.

The forecasters expect that exports and business investment should help lift the economy, the ACC said.

Forecasts for 2009 have deteriorated since the last survey by the ACC, with the economists expecting a growth rate of 2.5%. The new figure is down 0.1 percentage point from the previous survey due to lower forecasts for automobile sales and house construction.

Both are important chemical end markets that have borne the brunt of the recent downturn in the US economy.

The following lists the results of a survey that the ACC conducted with economic forecasters.

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

GDP

2.2%

1.6%

2.5%

2.8%

Consumer
Spending

2.9%

1.4%

2.1%

2.4%

Industrial
Production

1.7%

1.2%

2.9%

2.8%

Auto sales (m)

16.1

15.2

15.6

16.1

House starts (m)

1.36

0.97

1.12

1.48

Unemployment

4.6%

5.3%

5.4%

5.1%


By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index