ACC - American Chemistry Council

11/21/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/21/2019 16:37

Growth in U.S. Chemical Production Lost Momentum During October

WASHINGTON (November 21, 2019) - According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) edged higher by 0.2 percent in October following gains of 0.5 percent in September and 0.2 percent in August. During October, chemical output increased at a slower pace across all regions.

Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average (3MMA) output trend in plastic resins, chlor-alkali, pesticides, organic chemicals, consumer products, adhesives, coatings and other specialty chemicals. These gains were offset by declines in the output of synthetic rubber, miscellaneous inorganic chemicals, synthetic dyes and pigments, industrial gases fertilizers and manufactured fibers.

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity edged lower in October, off by 0.2 percent. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages, aerospace, computers, semiconductors, iron and steel products, foundries, oil and gas extraction, rubber products, paper, structural panels, and printing.

Compared with October 2018, U.S. chemical production was off by 0.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in the Gulf Coast and Midwest, but up slightly in other regions.

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $553 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96 percent of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry. The U.S. CPRI was developed to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve, and as such, includes monthly revisions as published by the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average. Thus, the reading in October reflects production activity during August, September, and October.