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


Contact: Patrick Hurston (202) 249-6506  
Email: patrick_hurston@americanchemistry.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2012) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) slipped by 0.1 percent in June, following a downwardly revised 0.5 percent decline in May. Chemical production fell in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Southeast and West Coast regions and was flat in the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions.

Though overall U.S. chemical production activity declined in June, individual components measured by the index were mixed. Declines in production of plastic resins, fertilizers, adhesives, organic chemicals and pharmaceuticals were offset by gains in the output of inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, consumer products, pesticides, coatings and synthetic rubber.

In contrast to chemical production, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector rose by 0.2 percent, following a 0.1 percent decline in May. This increase was driven in part by output gains in several key chemistry end-use markets, including appliances, motor vehicles, computers, apparel, structural panels, rubber products, paper and printing. The manufacturing sector, which rebounded strongly following the recession, has moderated in recent months as slower global growth has depressed demand for U.S. exports.

Compared to June 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up by 0.3% and was down year-over-year in all regions except the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions. On a year-to-date basis (comparing the first six months of 2012 with those a year ago), chemical production was up 0.2 percent nationally. Only the Ohio Valley and Northeast regions were ahead on a year-to-date basis.

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 June reflects production activity during April, May and June.

Following a revised 0.8 percent decline in May, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region was off by 0.4 percent in June. Compared to a year ago, production was up 1.2 percent, but was down 1.0 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 by 0.2 percent during June, following a 0.6 percent decline in May. Compared to June 2011, Midwest chemical production was down 0.2 percent, and was off 0.2 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 was unchanged in June, following a 0.6 percent decline in May. Compared to June 2011, production in the region was up by 2.0 percent, and was up 1.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production was unchanged in June, following a 0.4 percent decline in May. Compared to June 2011, Mid-Atlantic chemical production was off 0.9 percent, and was off 0.3 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 by 0.2 percent in June, following a 0.6 percent decline during May. Compared to June 2011, Southeast region chemical production was down 0.4 percent year-over-year, but was flat on a year-to-date basis.

In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production was unchanged in June, following a 0.2 percent decline during May. Compared to June 2011, Northeast region chemical production was off 0.2 percent, but was up 0.8 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the West Coast region, chemical production slipped by 0.1 percent in June, following a 0.4 percent decline in May. Chemical production in the West Coast region was off 1.1 percent from last year, and remained down 0.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $760 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96 percent of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry.

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