Chemicals Will Keep Bubbling

Chemical executives have a ready answer when asked about their industry's prospects in 1991. "Just tell me what GNP growth will be, and I'll tell you how sales will do this year," says one company's executive vice-president. In the early 1980s, sales tended to rise twice as fast as gross national product. Since then, the chemical industry has matured: In recent years, growth has been running about 1.3 times that of the U. S. economy.

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