The US accounts for 23% of global GDP. Its economy is 3 times larger than the No 2 country, Japan. And most critically for the chemical industry, 70% of US GDP is consumer-based.
Developments in US housing/construction, auto and electronics industries are therefore the biggest single influence on global chemical sales.
In turn, the level of unemployment is a critical influence on consumer spending. Sadly, especially for those who have lost their jobs, it rose to 10.2% in October. The broader measure, including those who have given up looking for work, or have taken part-time work, reached 17.5%, or 1 in 6 of the total workforce.