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April 26, 2013

U.S. CPRI slips in March, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (US CPRI) slipped by 0.1% in March, following a revised 0.4% gain in February, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com).
 
In its latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report, ACC said chemical production rose in March for the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and West regions, but fell in the Gulf Coast, Ohio Valley and Southeast. 
 
Using a three-month moving average, chemical production was mixed when assessed by sector. The ACC report said gains in the output of adhesives, chlor-alkali, coatings, pharmaceuticals, industrial gases, synthetic dyes and pigments were offset by lower production of organic chemicals, manmade fibers, pesticides, plastic resins, fertilizers and synthetic rubbers.
 
Compared to March of last year, total chemical production in all U.S. regions was 0.9% higher in the latest numbers. “The year-over-year comparisons remained positive across all regions, except the West Coast,” the report said.
 
Assessing the week’s few economic reports, ACC called them mixed, with an apparent “downshift” observed in the housing recovery. The first estimate of Q1 GDP (gross domestic product) growth was positive, but weaker than expected, the report notes.
 
In Europe, unemployment rates reached new highs in Spain and France, while the U.K.’s economy showed a small gain. 

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