The U.S. natural gas boom will drive the country's chemical industry despite the weak global economy and slowing growth in the U.S., according to the American Chemistry Council's Year End 2012 Situation and Outlook report. The U.S. chemical industry is expected to post growth of 1.5% this year, followed by 1.9% and 2.3% in 2013 and 2014, respectively. "Growth is expected in plastic resins as export markets revive. Production of specialty chemicals will be driven by demand from end-use markets; most notably light vehicles and housing," said ACC chief economist Kevin Swift.
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