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Comment Business & Economics

U.S. chemical production gained in April, ACC says

By Scott Jenkins |

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.3 percent in April, following a 0.3 percent decline in March and a 0.2 percent decline in February. During April, chemical output was higher across all regions, ACC says.

Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average (3MMA) output trend in organic chemicals, plastic resins, adhesives, coatings, other specialty chemicals, industrial gases, synthetic dyes and pigments, crop protection chemicals, and consumer products. These gains were offset by declines in the output of synthetic rubber, fertilizers, manufactured fibers, and other inorganic chemicals.

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity edged lower for a third straight month, by 0.3 percent in April. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including aerospace, semiconductors, oil and gas extraction, rubber products and tires.

Compared with April 2018, U.S. chemical production was up by 2.8 percent on a year-over-year basis, a weaker comparison than in March. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions, with the largest gains in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions.

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