It's that time of the year when people are looking back for a "year in review" or looking forward to what the new year may bring. (As if the last few years haven't made it clear that the unexpected can — and will — happen.)
The American Chemistry Council covered both the look back and forward this week as it reported that the chemicals industry saw one of its "best years in a decade" in 2022, while also warning that conditions won't be as strong next year, PN's Frank Esposito writes.
"Recession risk is rising in the U.S. and Europe," ACC Chief Economist Martha Moore said. "We expect a shallow recession to emerge in the U.S. in early 2023, but a recovery should be in full swing in 2024."
That's not too different from a lot of other forecasts out there. (You can get Plastics News' Economics Editor Bill Wood's take on the situation in the Dec. 12 print issue.)
The problem with trying to make predictions is that there is so much still up in the air, from the U.S. Federal Reserve's attempts for a "soft landing" for the economy to global inflation, continuing impacts of the war in Ukraine.
Now add changes that may come in China as the government there responds to protests over "zero COVID" restrictions by loosening some rules.
"Though we are hopeful [for the easing of shutdowns in China] we caution that the road to reopening may be gradual, painful and bumpy," Chief China Economist Ting Lu for the Japan-based research group Nomura said, according to a Dec. 5 report from Reuters.