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August 19, 2013

Uneven growth in chemical production continues, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

Citing data from the U.S. Federal Reserve (Washington, D.C.;, the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; said growth in chemical production has been “uneven over the past several quarters” in the U.S. in its latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report. 
Overall, Federal Reserve data show that during July, production in the business of chemistry fell 0.2% to 86.9% of its 2007 average level. Pharmaceutical production fell in July, as did basic chemical production and inorganic chemicals. Synthetic rubber production was up in July, while plastic resins were down. Production of specialty chemicals rose by 2.3% in July, while manmade fiber production was flat.
Within the wider economy, data from the U.S. Federal Reserve show that industrial production was flat in July in the U.S., but stands at 1.4% higher than a year ago. In the same report, the Federal Reserve noted that industrial capacity utilization slipped from 77.7% in June to 77.6% in July, ACC said. This is down slightly from a year ago.
The ACC report assessed the week’s economic reports as “mixed.” Retail sales were up on the consumer side and a favorable housing report being issued, the report says. Overseas, the recession in Europe appears to have ended, with slow growth taking over, ACC added.

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