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WASHINGTON (October 26, 2018) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) edged lower by 0.2 percent in September, following flat growth in August, and a 0.4 percent gain in July. During September, chemical output fell across all regions except the Gulf Coast, which was flat.

Chemical production was mixed over the same three month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average output trend of plastic resins; pesticides; fertilizers; coatings; adhesives; synthetic dyes and pigments; industrial gases; and other inorganic chemicals. These gains were offset by declines in the output trend in organic chemicals; synthetic rubber; consumer products; and other specialty chemicals.

US CPRI Chart1-1018

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form or another. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a three-month-moving average basis, manufacturing activity edged higher by 0.3 percent in September, following a 0.5 percent gain in August. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages; appliances; motor vehicles; aerospace; machinery; fabricated metal products; computers and electronics; semiconductors; iron and steel; foundries; plastic products; paper; structural panels; and furniture.

Compared to September 2017, when the industry was suffering the effects of Hurricane Harvey, U.S. chemical production was ahead 6.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions.

US CPRI Chart2-1018

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $526 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 to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve, and as such, includes monthly revisions as published by 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 September reflects production activity during July, August, and September.

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