Sales of chemicals in the United States are predicted to reach $1 trillion by 2018, with spending on research and development expected to rise to $68.7 billion, a new report released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) states.
The 2013 Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook report offers a summary of the achievements of the U.S. chemical industry over the past 12 months and outlines the key trends for this year. The ACC projects that U.S. chemical output will increase by 2.5 percent in 2014 and by 3.5 percent in the following year. Over the long term, the U.S. chemical industry will grow at a faster rate than the overall U.S. economy, the report predicts.
RELATED: Planned expansion of chemical plants to cause construction industry strain
The U.S. chemical industry is back on its feet after going through a tough decade of lost competitiveness and downward trends in employment, the ACC commented. The industry is now facing a period of growth and expansion over the next few years, driven by soaring natural gas production. Because of the increased output, the industry is now creating jobs. Job numbers in the U.S. chemical sector rose by 1.3 percent in 2013 and are predicted to continue growing through 2018.
The ACC stated that more than 135 new chemical projects worth more than $90 million in total have been announced, which creates a positive environment for investors and keeps them confident for future expansion, the report added.