WASHINGTON – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) continued to expand, rising by 0.5 percent in August on the heels of a 0.4 percent gain in July. Chemical output remained ahead of month ago levels in all regions, except the Gulf Coast which posted flat growth.
Also measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, overall chemical production was mixed. There were gains in the output of chlor-alkali and other inorganic chemicals, synthetic dyes and pigments, industrial gases, consumer products, pesticides, coatings, adhesives and pharmaceuticals. These gains were partially offset by declines in the production of plastic resins, fertilizers, organic chemicals, and synthetic fibers.
Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form or another. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. Manufacturing output continued to grow at a steady pace during August, and on a 3MMA, production of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector was 0.5 percent higher. Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including appliances, motor vehicles, aerospace, construction materials, machinery, fabricated metal products, computers and electronics, plastic and rubber products, structural panels, printing, textiles, and furniture.
Compared to August 2013, total chemical production in all regions was ahead by 1.8 percent on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, a strengthening trend. Chemical production was up from a year ago in all regions.
The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, an $812 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96 percent of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry.
The U.S. CPRI was developed to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. It is comparable to the U.S. industrial production index for chemicals published by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average (3MMA). Thus, the reading in August reflects production activity during June, July, and August.