The American Chemistry Council (ACC) expects 3.5% growth in physical chemical volume this year, providing a 4.3% hike in the value of shipments to $483.5 billion. That puts the sector's growth above GDP projections of about 2.5%. The 3.5% prediction compares with 2% growth in 2002, according to Kevin Swift, ACC senior director for policy, economics and risk analysis. According to the ACC, shipments of basic chemicals should grow 3.8%, led by fertilizer with a 5% increase; followed by a 4.8% hike in petrochemicals and intermediates, and a 4.3% increase in inorganic chemicals. A potential war with Iraq, however, could impact the predicted growth, the group warned in its weekly magazine, Chemical & Engineering News, which reported on the ACC outlook.