COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (ICIS)--The US economic expansion is poised to continue through 2019, becoming the longest in recorded history, the chief economist of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Monday.
“The risks for a recession are low. We’re in the 8th inning of a baseball game which doesn’t necessarily end in the 9th inning,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist of the ACC, in a press briefing at the trade group’s annual meeting.
“Another year at the end of June 2019 it will be the longest expansion in history, and all signs point to it happening,” he added.
The ACC’s Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), which is a leading indicator for the US economy, and a number of other leading indicators all point to continuing expansion, the economist said.
The biggest risk is US tariff announcements leading to a full blown trade war, he noted.
“Everyone wants to know: Where are we in the cycle? But there wasn’t a lot of investment [in the chemical industry] in the last 15 years [until recently],” said Mark Vergnano, president and CEO of Chemours.
“Many of us are now seeing high demand and limited capacity – we’re sort of hitting a wall in terms of supply and demand, and need to invest more. That should be positive,” he added.
And Polymers demand in particular is outpacing global economic growth, noted the ACC’s Swift.
“Mature industries tend to lag GDP which is around 2.5-3%, but plastic resins and rubber are growing at 5-7%. That’s a growth industry by any definition,” said Swift.