US economic growth outlook dims on rising gasoline prices - ACC

25 March 2011 20:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US economic expectations for 2011 and 2012 declined slightly in March as rising gasoline prices are lowering consumers’ confidence in the recovery, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Friday.

In its monthly economic forecasters survey, the ACC reported expectations for US GDP growth of 3.1% in 2011 and 3.2% in 2012, each a 0.1 percentage point drop from the prior month’s survey.

The ACC said that most of its economic forecasters were from industrial companies or consultancies, and had expertise in the dynamics of the US manufacturing sector.

For 2011, consumer spending and business investment are projected to rise 3.1% and 8.7% - down 0.1 and 0.3 percentage point, respectively, from the February survey.

However, US industrial production – which the ACC says is a more meaningful benchmark than GDP for performance of basic and specialty chemicals – is now expected to rise 4.8% in 2011. That is up from 4.6% in the February report.

The unemployment picture also improved from February expectations, with economists forecasting an average rate of 9.0% for 2011, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from last month.

For 2012, expectations for gains in consumer spending held flat at 2.9%.

Meanwhile, projections for growth in industrial projection slipped to 3.9% from 4.0%.

The ACC released the survey in conjunction with its weekly economic report.

In the report, the ACC noted rising US chemical output in February for all regions, mirroring the economic growth projected for 2011.

The largest gains were registered in the US Gulf region, the ACC said, which is dominated by the production of building-block materials such as petrochemicals, inorganics and synthetic materials.

By: Ben DuBose
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