European debt crisis the top threat to US economy - ACC report

09 December 2011 18:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--European economic woes have become the top threat to the growth of the US economy, an industry group said on Friday.

“The major risk to the US is the recession in Europe washing up on its shores,” the ACC added.

The US economy has been on the rebound lately, with the unemployment rate falling to 8.6% in November, its lowest level since the recession ended in 2009. The rate was 9% in October.

During the week ended 3 December, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 381,000.

“The weekly unemployment claims report was positive and this high-frequency (or real-time) report suggests a job market that is slowly repairing,” the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said in its Weekly Economic Report.

“Hopefully, 2012 will be a year where sales, production, employment and income all move in a positive direction,” the report said.

Meanwhile, US consumer credit, disposable personal income, consumer spending and revolving debt all rose in October, according to the US Federal Reserve Board.

The ACC said the data could be a sign of desperation, as consumers take on credit to sustain spending.

“On the other hand, consumers may be more willing to take on more debt heading into the holiday shopping season, as it appears that the feared ‘double-dip’ is not in the cards,” the ACC said.

“Consumers are in the second half of a seven-year (or so) deleveraging phase. This will aid the long-term prospects of the economy.”

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Bobbie Clark
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