The chemical industry is already in recovery mode from an unusually deep—but short—recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new analysis by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the US chemical industry’s main trade association.
The crisis certainly left a bruise. The ACC estimates that US chemical output fell 3.6% in 2020 after a 0.1% dip in 2019. The swing for specialty chemicals was much wider; the segment sank 10.8% this year compared to last year’s 2.5% growth. And there were layoffs: the chemical workforce shrank by 14,000 jobs.
Now, as the year winds down, the economic gears are turning again, and the chemical industry is starting to rebound. The ACC estimates that the US economy will grow 3.7% in 2021 and that chemical production will rise a similar 3.9%. Most industries that buy chemicals will ramp up production in 2021, though not all will make up the ground lost in 2020.
Well, here's hoping the rebound continues....