The U.S. economy continues to improve, with forecasts now suggesting economic expansion into 2015, according to the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) monthly Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB). The Chemical Activity Barometer is reportedly a leading economic indicator, shown to lead U.S. business cycles by an average of eight months at cycle peaks, and four months at cycle troughs.
The barometer increased 0.4% over August on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. The barometer is up 3.3% over a year ago, with the index itself at its highest point since June 2008. Prior CAB readings for April through August were all revised.
“This 0.4% jump is a real improvement in growth dynamics from the smaller, yet steady, increases we saw from March through August,” said Kevin Swift, Ph.D., chief economist for the ACC. “The Chemical Activity Barometer is showing a strengthening of some fundamentals, with forecasts remaining positive. Indeed, there is potential for upside surprises in the U.S. economy.”
Continued improvements in construction-related plastic resins, coatings, pigments and other chemistry are reportedly likely to continue, though at a moderated pace, suggesting that the rapid gains typically seen early in a recovery have given way to a slower pace of growth. Production of plastic resins used in consumer and institutional applications continues to grow at a strong pace, with the potential for even greater acceleration.
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