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


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

Data shows chemical production increased in March.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 23, 2012) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.1 percent in March, following a revised 1.0 percent gain in February, the fourth consecutive gain. Regionally, chemical production rose in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Ohio Valley and Southeast regions. Production slipped in the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast and was flat in the Northeast.

Using a three month moving average, comparable to the U.S. CPRI, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector rose by 0.6 percent in March, following a 1.1 percent gain in February. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including motor vehicles, aerospace, construction supplies, machinery, computers, plastic products, structural panels, apparel and furniture.

Also measured on a three month moving average basis, production gains were seen in nearly all chemical segments, except fertilizers. Some of the largest gains were in man-made fibers, adhesives, industrial gases, inorganic chemicals, and pesticides.

Compared to March 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up 1.3 percent and remained ahead year-over-year in all regions. Looking at year-ago comparisons, improvements were seen in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Ohio Valley and Southeast regions. On a year-to-date basis (comparing the first three months of 2012 with those a year ago), chemical production was up 0.9% nationally. All regions were ahead on a year-to-date basis except the Gulf Coast region.

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

Following a 1.5 percent gain in February, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region rose by 0.4 percent in March. Compared to a year ago, production was up 0.1 percent, and was off 0.8 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 0.1 percent during March, following a 0.9 percent increase in February. Compared to March 2011, Midwest chemical production was up 0.9 percent year-over-year, and was up 0.5 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 0.6 percent in March, following a 1.6 percent gain in February. Compared to March 2011, production in the region was up by 2.6 percent, and was up 1.8 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production slipped by 0.1 percent in March, following a revised 0.7 percent gain in February. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was up 0.7 percent compared to March 2011, and was up 0.6 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 0.2 percent in March, following a 1.0 percent gain during February. Southeast region chemical production was up 1.5 percent year-over-year, and was up 1.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production was flat percent in March, following a 0.7 percent gain during February. Compared to March 2011, Northeast region chemical production was up 1.9 percent, and was up 1.8 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the West Coast region, chemical production slipped by 0.1 percent in March, following 0.6 growth in February. Chemical production in the West Coast region was up 0.7 percent from last year, and was up 0.6 percent on a year-to-date basis.

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