Chemical Activity Remains Soft In August

By Chemical Processing Staff

Sep 05, 2018

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), an economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), was flat in August remaining at 122.14 on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. This continued a general softening trend since the first quarter. The barometer is up 3.8% year-over-year (Y/Y/), a slower pace than of that earlier in the year and similar to that seen in the second half of 2017. The unadjusted CAB also was flat, and follows a 0.3% decline in July. August readings indicate gains in U.S. commercial and industrial activity well into the first quarter 2019, but at a slower pace as growth has turned over.

The Chemical Activity Barometer 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.

Most production-related indicators in August were positive as were inventories. These were offset by a slip in equity prices and product and input prices which were mixed.

The diffusion index remained at 71%. This index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored.

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