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American Chemistry Council Releases August 2011 Chemical Production Regional Index


Contact: Jenny Heumann (202) 249-6520  
Email: jenny_heumann@americanchemistry.com

Data Shows Chemical Production Continues to Improve in All Regions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 26, 2011) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) was flat in August, following a 0.5 percent decline in July. Chemical production rose in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions, but slipped in other parts of the country.

Output of the nation’s manufacturing sector was rose 0.4 percent in August, following a 0.6 percent gain during July. As auto supply chains continued to recover following disruptions due to the Japanese tsunami, motor vehicle production posted a second month of solid gains. Production also expanded in several other key end-use markets for chemistry products, including computers and electronics, aerospace, electrical equipment and furniture.

Output of chemistry products rose during the month of August. Recent data for August show gains in production of pharmaceuticals, consumer products, inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, dyes and pigments, adhesives, fertilizers, coatings and other specialties, which were offset by declines in petrochemicals, plastic resins, synthetic rubber, pesticides and man-made fibers.

Compared to August 2010, total chemical production in all regions was up 1.7 percent and remained ahead year-over-year in all regions, except the Gulf Coast. Year-over-year comparisons have worsened compared to several months ago in all regions except the Northeast, which was stable. Chemical output remains below its prerecession peak as the manufacturing sector and global export markets have softened in recent months.

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $720 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. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) was developed by Moore Economics 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.

Following a 0.4 percent decline in July, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region rose by 0.1 percent in August. Compared to a year ago, production was up off 1.5 percent, but remained up 1.6 percent on a year-to-date basis. The Gulf Coast region is dominated by the production of key building block materials, such as petrochemicals, inorganics and synthetic materials.

In the Midwest region, which is influenced by production of agricultural chemicals, plastics, paints and other chemical products, chemical production fell 0.1 percent in August, following a revised 0.5 percent decline in July. Compared to August 2010, Midwest chemical production was up 1.1 percent year-over-year and up 1.6 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Ohio Valley region, which is largely influenced by production of basic chemicals, plastics and synthetic rubber, coatings and consumer products, chemical production rose by 0.2 percent in August, following a 0.5 percent decline in July. Compared to August 2010, production in the region was up by 2.9 percent, and up 3.0 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production was off 0.2 percent in August, following a revised 0.5 percent decline in July. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was up 1.4 percent compared to August 2010, and up 1.5 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Southeast region, which is influenced heavily by production of basic chemicals, fibers, agricultural and other chemical products, chemical production fell 0.1 percent in August, following a revised 0.5 percent decline in July. Southeast region chemical production was up 2.4 percent year-over-year, and up 2.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production fell 0.1 percent in August, following a revised 0.5 percent decline in July. Compared to August 2010, Northeast region chemical production was up 3.0 percent, and up 2.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the West Coast region, chemical production fell 0.3 percent in August, following a revised 0.5 percent decline in July. Chemical production in the West Coast region was up 1.3 percent from last year, and up 1.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.

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