Outlook worsens for US chemical industry - ACC

12 December 2008 21:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Friday put out its most pessimistic economic trends report yet as the business outlook for the US chemical industry continued to worsen.

The "Weekly Chemistry and Economic Trends" was the most pessimistic that the ACC has put out since it began publishing the report roughly five years ago, said Kevin Swift, chief economist.

The report showed just four positive indicators out of 20. As such, the ACC assigned its worst ranking to both the macroeconomic status of the US and the business of chemistry status.

Retail sales posted their fifth consecutive decline in November, the report said. Consumers are reducing their debt, leaving less money to purchase goods and boost demand.

At the same time, signs of deflation are mounting with prices falling across the board, the report said.

For US chemicals, wholesale inventories are still high in relation to sales, indicating that they are still out of balance, the report said.

Among chemicals tracked by the ACC, October styrene-based latex production was down 29.5% year over year. October sales and captive use of polystyrene (PS) fell 27.7% year over year.

Worldwide, the ACC said China, India and Russia are now facing strong slowdowns, according to the latest composite leading indicator released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD's indicator also points to a weaker outlook for the world's developed economies.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Al Greenwood
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