Chemical & Engineering News
January 12, 1998
Copyright © 1998 by the American Chemical Society

CHEMICAL PRODUCTION: Annual gain has dropped from 8.3% for 30 years following World War II to 2.3% for past 20 years


Production of chemicals and allied products has grown at an average annual rate of 5.6% since just after World War II. The only major pause in the upward trend came during the deep recession of the early 1980s. Partly as a result of this, the rate of growth has changed dramatically, from an average 8.3% during the 1970s to 2.3% since the early 1980s. For the past 10 years, it has been 2.8%.

CHEMICAL SHIPMENTS: have averaged 7.5% annual growth rate for past 40 years


Fastest growth in value of shipments of chemicals and allied products came in the 1970s--an average annual growth of almost 14%. Shipments have grown 6% per year for the past 10 years. Today, chemical shipments represent 10% of total shipments from all manufacturing industries. This is up from 6% during the 1950s.

Facts & Figures