According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) continues to expand, rising 0.8% in December following an upwardly revised 0.9% gain in November. Chemical output remains ahead of month ago levels in all regions.
Also measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, chemical production by segment is mixed. There are gains in the output of organic chemicals, chlor-alkali, synthetic rubber, coatings, synthetic dyes and pigments, industrial gases, consumer products, pesticides, adhesives and pharmaceuticals. These gains are partially offset by declines in the production of fertilizers, plastic resins, synthetic fibers, acids and other inorganic chemicals.
Manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. Overall manufacturing growth slowed during the last month of the year, but the trend is for higher growth in the fourth-quarter. Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including motor vehicles, construction materials, machinery, computers and electronics, structural panels, paper, printing, plastic and rubber products, apparel and furniture.
Compared to December 2013, total chemical production in all regions is ahead by 5.2% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, a strengthening trend. Chemical production is up from a year ago in all regions.
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