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Comment Business & Economics

U.S. chemical production rose in December, 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 0.6 percent in December, following a 0.3 percent gain in November and a 0.4 percent decline in October. During December, chemical output rose across all regions, with the largest gains in the Ohio Valley and Southeast regions.

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

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form or another. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a three-month-moving average basis, manufacturing activity rose by 0.3 percent in December, following a 0.1 percent gain in November. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including aerospace, machinery, fabricated metal products, computers and electronics, semiconductors, petroleum refining, iron and steel products, foundries, oil and gas extraction, plastic products, and furniture.

Compared with December 2017, U.S. chemical production rose 2.5 percent on a year-over-year basis. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions, with the largest gains in the Gulf Coast.

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