ACC: U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index rose 0.2% in October on heels of revised 0.1% gain in September; recent data for month shows gains in production of specialty chemicals including organic chemicals, pesticides and adhesives
December 5, 2011
– Data shows chemical production was up in October
According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 0.2 percent in October, following a revised 0.1 percent gain in September. Chemical production rose modestly in all regions, except the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast regions where production was flat.
Output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector rose 0.5 percent in October, following a 0.3 percent gain during September. Output in several key chemistry end-use markets rose, including computers, construction materials, motor vehicles, and electrical equipment and plastic and rubber products.
Output of chemistry products rose during the month of October. Recent data for October show gains in production of organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, manmade fibers, pesticides, adhesives, and other specialties. These gains were offset by declines in the production of inorganic chemicals, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, industrial gases, dyes and pigments, plastic resins, consumer products, and coatings.
Compared to October 2010, total chemical production in all regions was up 1.6 percent and remained ahead year-over-year in all regions, except the Gulf Coast. After weakening over the past few months, year-over-year comparisons improved in most regions. This is consistent with somewhat better economic news over the past few weeks suggesting that the manufacturing sector has continued to expand despite storm clouds on the horizon.
The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $720 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 by Moore Economics to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. It is comparable to the U.S. industrial production index for chemicals published by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average (3MMA). Thus, the reading in October reflects production activity during August, September, and October.
Following a 0.6 percent gain in September, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region rose by 0.1 percent in October. Compared to a year ago, production was off 0.8 percent, but remained up 1.1 percent on a year-to-date basis. The Gulf Coast region is dominated by the production of key building block materials, such as petrochemicals, inorganics, and synthetic materials.
In the Midwest region, which is influenced by production of agricultural chemicals, plastics, paints, and other chemical products, chemical production rose 0.1 percent in October, following flat growth during September. Compared to October 2010, Midwest chemical production was up 0.6 percent year-over-year, and up 1.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Ohio Valley region, which is largely influenced by production of basic chemicals, plastics and synthetic rubber, coatings, and consumer products, chemical production rose by 0.2 percent in October, following a revised 0.7 percent gain in September. Compared to October 2010, production in the region was up by 3.3 percent, and up 2.9 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production was flat in October, following a revised 0.3 percent decline in September. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was up 0.7 percent compared to October 2010, and up 1.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Southeast region, which is influenced heavily by production of basic chemicals, fibers, agricultural and other chemical products, chemical production was up 0.2 percent in October, following a revised 0.1 percent gain in September. Southeast region chemical production was up 2.6 percent year-over-year, and up 2.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production rose 0.2 percent in October, following a 0.2 percent decline during September. Compared to October 2010, Northeast region chemical production was up 2.7 percent, and up 2.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the West Coast region, chemical production was flat in October, following a revised 0.4 percent decline in September. Chemical production in the West Coast region was up 0.5 percent from last year, and up 0.9 percent on a year-to-date basis.