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American Chemistry Council Releases February 2012 U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index


Contact: Patrick Hurston (202) 249-6520  
Email: patrick.hurston@americanchemistry.com

Data shows chemical production increased in February

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 23, 2012) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.5 percent in February, following a revised 0.5 percent gain in January. Following several months of mixed results, chemical production rose in all seven regions during February.

Using a three month moving average, comparable to the U.S. CPRI, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector rose by 1.0 percent in February, following a 0.8 percent gain in January. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including motor vehicles, construction supplies, computers, plastic products, paper, structural panels, machinery, printing, apparel, and furniture.

Also measured on a three month moving average basis, there were gains in production of industrial gases, inorganic chemicals, plastic resins, synthetic rubber, pesticides, adhesives, coatings, other specialties, and consumer products. Declines occurred in the production of organic chemicals, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals.

Compared to February 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up 1.5 percent and remained ahead year-over-year in all regions except the West Coast regions which were off from a year ago. Year-ago comparisons stabilized or improved in all regions except the Gulf Coast which continued to weaken.

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. 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 February reflects production activity during December, January, and February.

Following a 1.1 percent gain in January, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region rose by 0.8 percent in February. Compared to a year ago, production was up 1.4 percent, and was up 1.5 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 rose 0.4 percent during February, following a 0.4 percent increase in January. Compared to February 2011, Midwest chemical production was up 0.6 percent year-over-year, and was up 0.6 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 1.0 percent in February, following a 1.1 percent gain in January. Compared to February 2011, production in the region was up by 3.0 percent, and was up 3.0 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production rose by 0.2 percent in February, following a revised 0.1 percent gain in January. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was up 0.2 percent compared to February 2011, and was up 0.2 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 rose by 0.6 percent in February, following a 0.5 percent gain during January. Southeast region chemical production was up 1.8 percent year-over-year, and was up 1.7 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production rose 0.4 percent in February, following a 0.1 percent gain during January. Compared to February 2011, Northeast region chemical production was up 1.5 percent, and was up 1.4 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the West Coast region, chemical production was up 0.2 percent in February, following flat growth in January. Chemical production in the West Coast region was off 0.1 percent from last year, and was off 0.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.

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