The next decade will likely mean additional ethane crackers and chemical production in the U.S., according to experts and economic projections. "Most forecast models are demand-driven, but the U.S. shale gas phenomenon is a supply-side shock -- a positive shock that will have a knock-on effect on chemical production and GDP for the next 10 years," said Kevin Swift, chief economist at the American Chemistry Council. "We see shale gas fueling the U.S. manufacturing sector, which will also pull on chemical demand. But also some of the surplus will be going to exports because of renewed U.S. competitiveness," said ACC economist Martha Moore.

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