US shale boom could add up to 0.8% to GDP

13 September 2012 20:55  [Source: ICIS news]

BOSTON (ICIS)--The boom in US shale oil and gas production could add up to 0.8 percentage points to US GDP over the long run, the chief economist of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Thursday.

“This oil and gas boom represents a positive shock to the US economy, which should be able to capitalise on these developments. Long-term economic growth potential could be boosted by 0.3 to 0.8 percentage points per annum,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist of the ACC.

Swift spoke at the 5th annual ICIS World Chemical Purchasing Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Shale gas is the most significant development for the US chemical industry in 75 years, since the 1930s when new plastic resins such as nylon were being introduced,” he said.

Abundant shale gas is not only providing cheaper feedstocks for the US chemical sector, but lowering electricity costs for manufacturing, the economist noted.

Swift estimated that by 2017, there would be an additional $121bn (€94bn) in output from eight US gas-intensive manufacturing industries from the shale gas advantage.

This includes $70.2bn from chemicals, $33.3bn from plastics and rubber products, as well as lesser amounts from the fabricated metal, iron and steel, paper, aluminium, glass and foundry sectors.

He also projected that the shale gas dynamic would directly generate $72.0bn in capital investment and construction by the eight industries to build and expand capacity, leading to a one-time boost of $207.6bn in economic activity.

It would also lead to the direct creation of 200,000 high-paying jobs and another 979,000 jobs in the supply chain through indirect effects, said Swift.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Joseph Chang
+1 713 525 2653

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