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Data show chemical production continuing to improve in all regions
WASHINGTON, DC (June 22, 2011) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 0.5 percent in May, following a 0.3 percent gain in April and gains earlier in the year, as chemical production increased in all regions except the Gulf Coast. ACC anticipates that output gains will continue through the second half of 2011.
Output of the nation’s manufacturing sector grew by 0.4 percent in May, following a 0.5 percent decline during April that was related in part to supply chain disruptions resulting from the March earthquake/tsunami in Japan. However, output grew in several key end-use markets for chemistry products, including computers and electronics; furniture; paper; textile and product mills; and plastic and rubber products. Output of motor vehicles and parts continued to decline due to supply chain disruptions related to the earthquake/tsunami.
Output of chemistry products rose during the month of May. Recent data for May show gains in production of a variety of chemistry products, including pharmaceuticals, inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, plastic resins, other specialties, fertilizers and pesticides. These gains were offset by declines in consumer products, petrochemicals, synthetic rubber, man-made fibers, adhesives, and coatings.
Compared to May 2010, total chemical production in all regions was up 2.6 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 Gulf Coast, where year-ago comparisons have weakened. Chemical output remains below its prerecession peak despite improving demand from U.S. customers and strong export markets.
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. Chemical Production Regional Index (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). The reading in May reflects production activity during March, April, and May.
Following a 0.4 percent decline in April, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region fell by 0.3 percent in May. Compared to a year ago, production was up 1.7 percent, and up 2.7 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 0.5 percent in May, following a revised 0.1 percent gain in April. Compared to May 2010, Midwest chemical production was up 1.7 percent year-over-year, and up 1.2 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 rose 0.3 percent in May, following a 0.3 percent gain in April. Compared to May 2010, production in the region was up by 2.4 percent, and up 2.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production was up 0.6 percent in May, following a revised 0.2 percent decline in April. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was up 1.9 percent compared to May 2010, and up 1.0 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 May, following flat growth in April. Southeast region chemical production was up 2.1 percent year-over-year, and up 1.0 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 0.8 percent in May, following a 0.5 percent increase during April. Compared to May 2010, Northeast region chemical production was up 2.8 percent, and up 1.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the West Coast region, chemical production was up 0.7 percent in May, following a revised 0.1 percent decline in April. Chemical production in the West Coast region was up 1.4 percent from last year, and up 0.4 percent on a year-to-date basis.