Contact: Patrick Hurston (202) 249-6506
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 24, 2012) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) slipped by 0.1 percent in July, following flat growth in June. Chemical production declined in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and West Coast regions. Production was flat in the Northeast region.
Though overall U.S. chemical activity declined in July, based on a three month moving average, individual components measured by the index were mixed. Gains in the output of inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, consumer products, and coatings and synthetic rubber were offset by lower production of plastic resins, fertilizers, adhesives, organic chemicals, pesticides, synthetic rubber, and pharmaceuticals.
In contrast to chemical production, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector rose by 0.2 percent in July, following a 0.2 percent gain in June. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including motor vehicles, aerospace, computers and electronics, plastic products, and printing. Despite lower export demand from Europe and Asia, the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to grow, though more slowly than during the first quarter as export demand has softened due to the ongoing crisis in Europe and slower economic growth in China.
Compared to July 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up by 0.6% and was up year-over-year in all regions except the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and West Coast regions. On a year-to-date basis (comparing the first seven months of 2012 with those a year ago), chemical production was up 0.3 percent nationally. Only the Ohio Valley and Northeast regions were ahead on a year-to-date basis.
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 July reflects production activity during May, June, and July.
Following a revised 0.2 percent decline in June, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region was off by 0.4 percent in July. Compared to a year ago, production was up 1.3 percent, but was down 0.5 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 fell by 0.1 percent during July, following a 0.1 percent decline in June. Compared to July 2011, Midwest chemical production was up by 0.1 percent, but was off 0.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Ohio Valley region, largely influenced by production of basic chemicals, plastics and synthetic rubber, coatings, and consumer products, chemical production slipped by 0.1 percent in July, following flat growth in June. Compared to July 2011, production in the region was up by 2.4 percent, and was up 1.5 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 July, following flat growth in June. Compared to July 2011, Mid-Atlantic chemical production was off 0.6 percent, and was off 0.3 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 fell by 0.2 percent in July, following a 0.2 percent decline during June. Compared to July 2011, Southeast region chemical production was down 0.3 percent year-over-year, but was flat on a year-to-date basis.
In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production was unchanged in July, following a 0.1 percent gain during June. Compared to July 2011, Northeast region chemical production was off 0.2 percent, but was up 0.7 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the West Coast region, chemical production slipped by 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.1 percent decline in June. Chemical production in the West Coast region was off 0.8 percent from last year, and remained down 0.4 percent 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.