Chemical Activity Barometer Shows Slow Start To 4th Quarter

Oct. 29, 2018
The pace of growth has slowed form earlier in the year.

The American Chemistry Council's Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) posts a 0.2% gain in October on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. The barometer is up 3.8% (3MMA) year-over-year. The pace of growth has slowed from earlier in the year. The unadjusted CAB declined 0.2% in October and reflected a 3.0% increase year-over-year.

Major components of the barometer were mixed in October. Plastic resins used in packaging gained, while other consumer and institutional applications were mixed, reflecting a recent weakening in retail sales. Equity prices retreated sharply in October and product and input process were mixed while inventories remained positive. The diffusion index fell to 53%. This index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored.

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.

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