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August 30, 2013

August CAB shows gains; equity prices neutral, ACC says

Scott Jenkins


The August Chemistry Activity Barometer (CAB) from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; rose by 0.1% in August, while equity prices for chemical companies were neutral, according the ACC’s latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report. 
The CAB, a leading macroeconomic indicator, is up 3.8% over last year, on a three-month-moving-average basis. “Production-related indicators improved at a modest pace,” ACC said about the CAB, and product and input prices were neutral. “The year-over-year comparisons in the CAB signals a moderately improving U.S. economy into 2014,” ACC said.
Meanwhile, chemical equity prices were soft this month, ACC said, but are doing better than the benchmark S&P 500 Index. This suggests a “neutral” stance, ACC said.
Looking the wider economy, the ACC report included warnings about factors that might hinder future economic growth, particularly a new debt-ceiling crisis for the U.S. and the rising price of crude oil. The U.S. is expected to once again reach its borrowing limit in mid-October, which is sooner than previously expected. Rising tensions in the Middle East are driving crude prices higher, ACC says, and prices above $115/bbl have eroded economic growth in the past.
In another recent report, ACC noted that global chemical production rose in July.

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