Chemical Activity Barometer Wraps Up 2016 On High Note

Dec. 23, 2016
Activity suggests expanded business growth In early 2017.

The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) ends the year on a strong note, posting a monthly gain of 0.3% and a year-over-year gain of 4.4%, a significant improvement over the first half of the year and a pace not seen since September 2010, according to ACC. All data is measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). On an unadjusted basis, the CAB climbed 0.6% in December, and 4.8% for the year. 

The CAB has four primary components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: 1) production; 2) equity prices; 3) product prices; and 4) inventories and other indicators.

In December, all of the four core categories for the CAB reportedly improved. Production-related indicators were positive, despite last week's announcement that housing starts tumbled.

"Housing starts were at a nine-year high," notes ACC Chief Economist Kevin Swift. "The foundation remains strong. Overall trends in construction-related resins, pigments and related performance chemistry were positive and suggest further gains in housing next year."

Other indicators, including equity prices, product prices and inventory were also positive, according to ACC. 

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