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American Chemistry Council Releases March 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. (April 21, 2011) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) rose 0.5 percent in March, following an revised 0.8 percent gain in February, as chemical production increased in all regions with the largest gains in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and West Coast regions.

Output of the nation’s manufacturing sector was up 0.7 percent in March, following a 0.6 percent gain during February. Output grew in many key end-use markets for chemistry products, including construction supplies, motor vehicles, electrical equipment, furniture, paper, and plastic and rubber products.

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

Compared to March 2010, total chemical production in all regions was up 2.5 percent and was up year-over-year in all regions. Over the past few months, year-over-year comparisons have been improving in all regions except in the Ohio Valley where year-ago comparisons have slowed. Emerging domestic demand and continued strength in export markets have boosted chemical production. Despite recent gains, however, chemical production remains below its pre-recession peak.

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $674 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96 percent of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry.

The Chemical Production Regional Index (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 CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average (3MMA). The reading in March reflects production activity during January, February, and March.

 

Following a revised 1.1 percent increase in February, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region rose by 0.3 percent in March. Compared to a year ago, production was up 3.7 percent, and up 3.9 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 in March, following a revised 0.6 percent gain in February. Compared to March 2010, Midwest chemical production was up 2.3 percent year-over-year, and up 2.0 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 0.4 percent in March, following a revised 0.9 percent gain in February. Compared to March 2010, production in the region was up by 2.2 percent, and up 2.7 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production was up 0.5 percent in March, following a revised 0.5 percent gain in February. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was up 2.3 percent compared to March 2010, and up 1.7 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 increased 0.5 percent in March, following a revised 0.7 percent gain in February. Southeast region chemical production was up 2.0 percent year-over-year, and up 1.5 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 0.6 percent in March, following a 0.6 percent increase during February. Compared to March 2010, Northeast region chemical production was up 2.4 percent, and up 1.7 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the West Coast region, chemical production was up 0.5 percent in March, following a revised 0.4 percent gain in February. Chemical production in the West Coast region was up 1.8 percent from last year, and up 1.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.

The Chemical Production Regional Index (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 CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve.

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