According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the US Chemical Production Regional Index (US CPRI) rose by 0.3% in September following declines of 0.2% in August and 0.7% in July. During September, chemical output was up across all regions, with the largest gain in the Gulf Coast region.
Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average (3MMA) output trend in plastic resins, chlor-alkali, pesticides, industrial gases, organic chemicals, consumer products, synthetic dyes and pigments, adhesives and coatings. These gains were offset by declines in the output of synthetic rubber, miscellaneous inorganic chemicals, fertilizers, manufactured fibres and other specialty chemicals.
Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity edged lower in September, off by 0.1%. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including appliances, aerospace, computers, semiconductors, petroleum refining, iron and steel products, oil and gas extraction, paper, structural panels and furniture.
Compared to September 2018, US chemical production was off by 1.8% on a year-over-year basis, an improving (less negative) year ago comparison than in August. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest year ago declines in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic region.
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