"The Weekly Chemistry and Economic Trends" report from the American Chemistry Council Economics & Statistics Department notes a largely positive economic outlook for the week ending April 2, with negative news confined to stagnant consumer incomes.
Factors that ACC looks to for forecasting include The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report on Business, which was strong, signaling a buoyant manufacturing sector. It is consistent with a manufacturing boom and with 1st quarter economic growth of around 5%. The Chicago PMI (Purchasing Managers Index, which is compiled by ISM) confirmed continued recovery in that region. Production of paper also rose and factory orders strengthened. Consumer spending is expanding and this continued into March as evidenced by the light vehicle report.
Overseas, the JP Morgan PMI and recent industrial production releases signal industrial recovery, especially in East Asia. As evidenced by rising oil and other commodity prices, the economic forces at play suggest boom conditions in the next few quarters.
The ACC notes the chemical industry was one reporting growth in the ISM report. This was confirmed by the number of hours worked and by chemical and polymer railcar loadings. The latter are signaling a strong recovery. More individual product reports are showing stronger positive year earlier comparisons.
To read the entire report, download this PDF.