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Comment Business & Economics

U.S. chemical production up in October, but growth slows, 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) edged higher by 0.2 percent in October, following gains of 0.5 percent in September and 0.2 percent in August. During October, chemical output increased at a slower pace 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 plastic resins, chlor-alkali, pesticides, organic chemicals, consumer products, adhesives, coatings and other specialty chemicals. These gains were offset by declines in the output of synthetic rubber, miscellaneous inorganic chemicals, synthetic dyes and pigments, industrial gases fertilizers and manufactured fibers.

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 in October, off by 0.2 percent. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages, aerospace, computers, semiconductors, iron and steel products, foundries, oil and gas extraction, rubber products, paper, structural panels, and printing.

Compared with October 2018, U.S. chemical production was off by 0.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in the Gulf Coast and Midwest, but up slightly in other regions.

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