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July 19, 2013

Chemical production in the U.S. is flat for June, but forecasts indicate growth, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) was flat in June, following a 0.1% gain the previous month, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com). During June, chemical production rose in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast regions, and declined in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions, ACC pointed out, while activity in the Southeast was flat.
 
In its most recent Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report, ACC says “Compared to June 2012, total chemical production in all regions accelerated to a 1.1% year-over-year gain, following an upwardly revised 0.9% gain in May.”
 
The ACC’s monthly survey of economic forecasters indicated that growth expectations were maintained for the U.S. economy, despite downward revisions to the 2013 growth forecasts. “The current survey suggests that the economy is expected to rise by 1.8% in 2013, down 0.1 percentage points from last month,” the ACC report said. 
 
The outlook for 2014 was positive, with growth expected to average 2.7%, although that rate is down from the previous survey of forecasters.
 
In the previous ACC Weekly Economic report, the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMIwas reported to remain stable at 50.6, “signaling an expansion of the global manufacturing sector for the sixth month running,” the ACC report said. (A reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding, while below 50 percent indicates contraction.)
 
The S&P index for chemical companies also fell (by 3.9%) during June, while the wider S&P 500 index fell by 1.5%. The S&P chemicals index was up 7.0% from the beginning of the year. By comparison, the S&P 500 index was up 12.6% thus far for 2013.
 
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that US specialty chemicals market volume slipped 0.1% in May, partially offsetting a 0.6% gain in April.

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