The US industrial gas industry continues to face challenges and uncertainties brought by global economic struggles, which have been driven by geopolitical energy issues and the wars in Ukraine and now Israel–Gaza.
Supply chain issues that began during the pandemic have yet to be resolved and the effects on the US economy and business markets continue. Like other parts of the industrial gas business, US air gases production and investment, the bread and butter of the industrial gas (IG) business, has been impacted in some markets more than others by supply chain and labor issues.
These issues have caused some planned plant startups to be delayed and in generral slowed new plant builds due to a lack of demand. At the same time, US economic data points to some markets being more resilient than others. Markets that have fared better include healthcare, electronics, and food processing while the greatest negative impact has been on general manufacturing and the metals sector.
This past year, remember, the economy has been hampered by inflation, rising energy prices, and lack of labor, though these issues have started to turn around. We begin 2024, then, with the US economy headed for growth, yet that growth is unlikely to be any better than before the pandemic hit.
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