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American Chemistry Council Releases September 2010 Chemical Production Regional Index

Jenny Heumann (202) 249-6520
October 21, 2010

Data shows chemical production improving in several regions of the U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC (October 21, 2010) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) rose 0.1 percent in September, following a 0.2 percent drop in August, as chemical production increases in the Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions offset production declines in the Ohio Valley and Southeast regions. Production in the Midwest and Northeast was flat.

Output at the nation’s factories fell for the first time in 15 months, by 0.2 percent, in September. Output of motor vehicles and business equipment rose, but production in other key-end use markets for chemistry products slipped.

Output of chemical products also rose during the month of September for a second straight month. Recent data for September show gains in the production of organic chemicals, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, coatings, and pharmaceuticals, particularly in the Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions. These gains were partially offset by declines in the production of plastic resins, inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, pesticides, consumer products, adhesives and other specialties.

Compared to September 2009, total chemical production in all regions of the U.S. was up 1.1 percent, though year ago comparisons are weakening. Regionally, chemical production was up year-over-year in all regions, except the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast regions. Year-over-year comparisons for most regions have moderated in recent months as manufacturing output has softened.

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. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average (3MMA). The reading in September reflects production activity during July, August, and September. The CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve.

Gulf Coast
Following a 0.1 percent decline in August, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region rose by 0.1 percent in September. Compared to a year ago, production was up 3.5 percent, and up 10.4 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.

Midwest
In the Midwest region, which is influenced by production of agricultural chemicals, plastics, paints, and other chemical products, chemical production slipped was flat in September, following a 0.3 percent decline in August. Compared to September 2009, Midwest chemical production was up 0.4 percent year-over-year, and up 4.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.

Ohio Valley
In the Ohio Valley region, which is largely influenced by production of basic chemicals, plastics and synthetic rubber, coatings, and consumer products, chemical production fell 0.2 percent in September, following a 0.3 percent decline in August. Compared to September 2009, production in the region was up by 2.1 percent, and up 6.4 percent on a year-to-date basis.

Mid-Atlantic
In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production was up 0.1 percent in September, following a 0.3 decline in August. Mid-Atlantic chemical production was off 0.1 percent compared to September 2009, and up 3.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.

Southeast
In the Southeast region, which is influenced heavily by production of basic chemicals, fibers, agricultural and other chemical products, chemical production slipped 0.1 percent in September, following a 0.3 percent decline in August. Southeast region chemical production was up 0.6 percent year-over-year, and up 4.9 percent on a year-to-date basis.

Northeast
In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production was flat in September, following a 0.3 percent decline during August. Compared to September 2009, Northeast region chemical production was flat, and was up 2.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.

West Coast
In the West Coast region, chemical production was up 0.1 percent in September, following a 0.3 percent decline in August. Chemical production in the West Coast region was off 0.6 percent from last year, and up 2.4 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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