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WASHINGTON (December 21, 2017) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 1.2 percent in November, following a 0.5 percent gain in October, and a 1.2 percent decline in September. The upturn reflects the rebounding overall manufacturing activity in addition to continued recovery from the hurricanes. During November, chemical output increased in all regions.

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

US CPRI chart1 1217

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 rose by 0.6 percent in November, following a 0.5 percent in October. Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages; motor vehicles; aerospace; construction supplies; petroleum refining; machinery; fabricated metal products; computers and electronics; semiconductors; iron and steel products; structural panels; foundries; and paper.

Compared to November 2016, U.S. chemical production was ahead 2.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, an improving trend. Chemical production was ahead of year ago levels in all regions.

US CPRI chart2 1217

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $768 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 November reflects production activity during September, October, and November.

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