U.S. Chemical Production Edged Higher in November

U.S. Chemical Production Edged Higher in November

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 23, 2017 – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 0.2 percent in November, following flat growth in October and a 0.2 percent decline in September, as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. In November, chemical production rose across all regions, with the highest gain in the Ohio Valley region.

Also measured on a 3MMA basis, chemical production was mixed. There were gains in the production three-month moving average output trend of fertilizers, consumer products, plastic resins, other specialties, industrial gases, chlor-alkali, and other inorganic chemicals. These gains were partially offset by declines in the production of organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, synthetic rubber, pesticides, coatings, adhesives, and manufactured fibers.

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CPRI Jan 2017 1

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 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity expanded for a second month in November.  Production was higher in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages, appliances, construction supplies, fabricated metal products, computers, semiconductors, petroleum refining, foundries, plastic products, tires, paper, structural panels, printing, apparel and furniture.

Compared to November 2015, U.S. chemical production was off 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, a deteriorating comparison compared to last month. Except the Ohio Valley region which saw a small Y/Y increase, year-ago comparisons in all other regions were negative.

CPRI Jan 2017 2

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $797 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96 percent of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry. The U.S. CPRI was developed to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve, and as such, includes monthly revisions as published by the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average. Thus, the reading in November reflects production activity during September, October, and November.

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