US economic growth to be sluggish for remainder of 2012 - ACC

05 July 2012 16:22  [Source: ICIS news]

A US chemical plantHOUSTON (ICIS)--US economic growth for the first half of 2012 was weak and growth for the rest of the year will be sluggish, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Thursday.

The ACC expects US gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 2.2% this year and 2.4% in 2013.

“The recovery remains fragile with multiple risks on the horizon and the wrong trade, tax or other policy initiatives could derail activity,” the group said in its Mid-Year 2012 Situation & Outlook. “Lower energy prices will support modest gains in consumer spending and help to offset the effects of high unemployment and low wage growth that are constraining incomes.”

The European debt crisis and a slowing of emerging economies, including China, have weakened demand for US exports, the ACC said.

“This outlook, coupled with weakness in U.S. manufacturing will likely produce muted demand for chemical products in the second half of 2012,” the group said. “Overall, American chemistry output is anticipated to rise by 0.5% in 2012, before accelerating to a 2.3% growth rate in 2013.”

However, the ACC said it expects strong gains in capital spending by chemical companies over the next several years, as a result of shale gas developments.

“Capital spending in the business of chemistry will reach $35.5 billion [€28.4bn] in 2012 and will steadily rise to $51.5 billion in 2017,” the ACC added.

($1 = €.80)

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

By: Bobbie Clark
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