The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.3% in January, following a 0.6 percent gain in December 2018 and a 0.2% gain in November 2018, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC). During January, chemical output rose across all regions, with the largest gains in the Gulf Coast region.
Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average output trend in inorganic chemicals, plastic resins, synthetic dyes and pigments, and other specialty chemicals. These gains were reportedly offset by declines in the output of fertilizers synthetic rubber, consumer products, manufactured fibers, adhesives, pesticides and coatings.
As all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a three-month-moving average basis, manufacturing activity rose by 0.2% in January, following a 0.3% gain in December 2018. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including appliances, aerospace, construction supplies, fabricated metal products, computers and electronics, petroleum refining, iron and steel products, oil and gas extraction, plastic products, rubber products, tires, structural panels, and furniture.
Compared with January 2018, U.S. chemical production was up by 4.1% on a year-over-year basis, an improvement as compared with last month. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions, with the largest gains in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions.
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