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January 17, 2014

U.S. chemical production rose during December, ACC report says

Scott Jenkins

Overall production for the U.S. chemical industry rose 0.9% in December, reaching 89.0% of its average level for 2007, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (Washington, D.C.; that was included in the latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.;
If pharmaceutical production (which fell slightly during December) is excluded, the December gain was higher, at 1.4%. The 4th quarter of 2013 ended positively for chemical production, with the December gain following gains in both November and October of last year, the ACC report says.
Drilling down further, the ACC said, “During December, production of basic chemicals rose 1.7%, with a 3.5% gain in synthetic rubber, a 3.0% gain in manufactured fibers and a 2.3% gain in petrochemicals and organic intermediates outpacing the 0.5% gain in inorganic chemicals and more than offsetting the 0.9% decline in plastic resins.”
Data from the Federal Reserve indicate that industrial production in general also rose in December, by 0.3%, the ACC report says.
Widening the view globally, the ACC report said that industrial production was also up in the Euro area. “The global industrial cycle is turning positive,” the ACC report says.
To support the assessment, the ACC report pointed to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD; Paris;, which released its latest composite leading indicator (CLI). The CLI shows “signs of an improving economic outlook in most advanced countries,” the ACC said. In the emerging economies, the CLIs point to a “tentative position change in momentum in China, to growth around trend in Brazil and Russia, and to growth below trend in India,” the ACC report said.

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