U.S. Chemical Production Has Soft Start
During January, chemical output reportedly fell in all regions.
The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) fell 0.4% in January, following a 2.2% gain in December, and a 1.8% gain in November, as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC). During January, chemical output reportedly fell in all regions, with the largest declines in the West Coast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions. All data excludes pharmaceuticals.
Chemical production was mixed over the same three month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average output trend of other basic inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, fertilizers, synthetic dyes and pigments, and plastic resins. These gains were reportedly offset by declines in the output trend in pesticides, manufactured fibers, adhesives, coatings, organic chemicals, chlor-alkali, consumer products, and synthetic rubber.
On a 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity edged higher by 0.1% in January, following a 0.5% gain in December. Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including appliances; motor vehicles; aerospace; machinery; computers and electronics; semiconductors; petroleum refining; iron and steel products; plastic and rubber products; tires; paper; structural panels; and textile products.
Compared to January 2017, U.S. chemical production was ahead 3.4% on a year-over-year basis, an easing trend. Chemical production was ahead of year ago levels in all regions.
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