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Chemical Production Edges Higher in October, Says American Chemistry Council


Contact: Patrick Hurston (202) 249-6507  
Email: patrick_hurston@americanchemistry.com

--October 2012 U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index Climbs 0.2 Percent--

WASHINGTON (November 28, 2012) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.2 percent in October, following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent increase in September. Chemical production rose in all regions except the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and West Coast which declined.

Based on a three month moving average, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector posted a 0.5 percent decline in October, following a 0.2 percent decline in September. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including appliances, aerospace and structural panels. Manufacturing continues to weaken as investment drops ahead of uncertainty around the resolution of the fiscal cliff.

Also measured on a three month moving average basis, chemical production was mixed. Gains in the output of organic chemicals, plastic resins, consumer products, coatings, adhesives, and other specialty chemicals were offset by lower production of pesticides, fertilizers, manmade fibers, synthetic rubber industrial gases, and pharmaceuticals.

Compared to October 2011, total chemical production in all regions was off by 0.2 percent, following a 0.2 percent year-over-year decline in September. The year-over-year comparisons were ahead in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions, and those comparisons have improved. In contrast, year-over-year comparisons remained negative in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Northeast and West Coast regions. On a year-to-date basis (comparing the first nine months of 2012 with those in 2011), chemical production was up 0.1 percent nationally, with only the Ohio Valley region ahead on a year-to-date basis.

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $760 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. Thus, the reading in October reflects production activity during August, September, and October.

Following a revised 1.1 percent gain in September, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region was up by 0.5 percent in October. Compared to a year ago, production was up 2.1 percent, but was flat 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 edged up by 0.1 percent during October, following a 0.2 percent gain in September. Compared to October 2011, Midwest chemical production was down by 0.8 percent, and was off 0.3 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 October, following a 0.7 percent gain in September. Compared to October 2011, production in the region was up by 2.9 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 October, following a 0.1 percent decline in September. Compared to October 2011, Mid-Atlantic chemical production was off 2.1 percent, and was off 0.8 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 edged up by 0.1 percent in October, following a 0.3 percent gain during September. Compared to October 2011, Southeast region chemical production was off by 0.6 percent year-over-year, and off by 0.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical slipped by 0.1 percent during October, following flat growth in September. Compared to October 2011, Northeast region chemical production was off 1.6 percent, and was flat on a year-to-date basis.

In the West Coast region, chemical production declined by 0.2 percent in October, after falling 0.2 percent in September. Chemical production in the West Coast region was off 2.7 percent from last year, and remained down 1.0 percent on a year-to-date basis.

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