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October 29, 2012

Chemicals Activity Barometer posts strong gain, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The American Chemistry Council’s (Washington, D.C.; leading macroeconomic indicator known as the Chemicals Activity Barometer (CAB) rose 0.6% in October, marking the fourth consecutive month of gains. Also, the September and August CABs were upwardly revised, and the index stood at 90.7 in October.
“The pattern thus far in 2012 has been similar to that in 2011 and 2010 – a strong start to the year, followed by deterioration in the 2nd quarter, and from all appearances thus far, a recovery in the 4th quarter,” ACC said in its latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report.
Production-related indicators were positive, ACC says, including rising activity in construction-related plastic resins, coatings, pigments and other chemistry, which suggests the recovery in housing and light vehicles is strengthening. “In summary, the CAB is signaling economic growth during 2013,” the report said.
The weekly ACC report also noted that the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) was flat overall for September, with the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions posting gains, but all other regions showing declines in production.
Meanwhile, the Global CPRI rose 0.3% in September, marking the 10th month of gain. The pace however, has slowed since last year, the ACC report said.
“Overall trends . . . continue to point to softening activity as the world economy slows and political uncertainty persists in the U.S.,” the report said .

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