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December 21, 2012

Chemical production slips globally; U.S. flat, says ACC

Scott Jenkins

Overall production of chemicals, as measured by the Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI), slipped 0.3% in November, while chemical production in the U.S. was flat, according to data from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; 
In its last Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report of 2012, ACC said the November decline in the Global CPRI followed stable activity in October, and prior to that, a string of gains over the past 10 months. However, the index is still up 3.1% over last year, on a three-month-moving average (3MMA) basis.
Meanwhile, the U.S. CPRI was flat in November, following a revised 0.1% increase in October, the ACC report said. Chemical production rose in all regions except the Gulf Coast, the largest chemical-producing area in the country.
In the report, ACC also discussed its most recent (December) Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading macroeconomic indicator. “The CAB was stable after four months of gains on a 3MMA basis,” said ACC. The CAB “continues to signal a subpar, but expanding, economy in 2013,” ACC added, but economic uncertainty due to the so-called Fiscal Cliff and other factors is manifesting itself in the real economy.

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