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American Chemistry Council Releases December 2011 Chemical Production Regional Index


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

Data Shows Chemical Production Declined in December

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 25, 2011) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) slipped 0.1 percent in December, following a revised 0.1 percent decline in November. Results were mixed within the different regions, with production increasing in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and West Coast regions. Production fell or was flat in the remaining regions.

Using a three month moving average, comparable to the U.S. CPRI, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector rose by 0.4 percent in December, following a 0.4 percent gain during November. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including structural panels, paper, rubber products, appliances, motor vehicles, aerospace, and machinery.

Also measured on a three month moving average basis, there were gains in production of organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and adhesives. These gains were offset by declines in the production of consumer products, industrial gases, inorganic chemicals, plastic resins, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, and other specialties. Production of manmade fibers and coatings was flat.

Compared to December 2010, total chemical production in all regions was up 2.0 percent and remained ahead year-over-year in all regions. Compared to several months ago, however, year-over-year comparisons have slipped for the United States as a whole with mixed performance among the individual regions with most regions trending down on a Y/Y basis.  For the year as a whole, chemistry production rose 2.2 percent with gains across all regions from a 1.0 percent gain in the West Coast region to a 3.5 percent gain in the Ohio Valley.

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 December reflects production activity during October, November, and December.

Following a 0.2 percent gain in November, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region slipped by 0.2 percent in December. Compared to a year ago, production was up 2.6 percent, and remained up 2.2 percent for the year as a whole. 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 was flat in December, following a 0.1 percent decline during November. Compared to December 2010, Midwest chemical production was up 1.0 percent year-over-year, and up 1.5 percent for the year as a whole.

In the Ohio Valley region, largely influenced by production of basic chemicals, plastics and synthetic rubber, coatings, and consumer products, chemical production slipped by 0.4 percent in December. This followed a revised 0.1 percent decline in November. Compared to December 2010, production in the region was up by 3.6 percent, and up 3.5 percent.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production rose by 0.1 percent in December, following a revised 0.2 percent decline in November. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was up 0.6 percent compared to December 2010, and up 1.4 percent for the year as a whole.

In the Southeast region, which is influenced heavily by production of basic chemicals, fibers, agricultural and other chemical products, chemical production fell by 0.1 percent in December, following flat growth during November. Southeast region chemical production was up 2.5 percent year-over-year, and up 2.6 percent for the year as a whole.

In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production rose 0.1 percent in December, following a 0.3 percent decline during November. Compared to December 2010, Northeast region chemical production was up 2.0 percent, and up 2.5 percent for the year as a whole.

In the West Coast region, chemical production was up 0.2 percent in December, following a revised 0.2 percent decline in November. Chemical production in the West Coast region was up 0.3 percent from last year, and up 1.0 percent for the year as a whole.

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