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WASHINGTON (February 21, 2018) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) fell 0.4 percent in January, following a 2.2 percent gain in December, and a 1.8 percent gain in November, as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. During January, chemical output fell in all regions, with the largest declines in the West Coast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions. All data excludes pharmaceuticals.

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

US CPRI chart1 0218

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 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity edged higher by 0.1 percent in January, following a 0.5 percent gain in December. Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including appliances; motor vehicles; aerospace; machinery; computers and electronics; semiconductors; petroleum refining; iron and steel products; plastic and rubber products; tires; paper; structural panels; and textile products.

Compared to January 2017, U.S. chemical production was ahead 3.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, an easing trend. Chemical production was ahead of year ago levels in all regions.

US CPRI chart2 0218

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 January reflects production activity during November, December, and January.

* Beginning with the January 2018 data, the U.S. CPRI has been recalculated to exclude pharmaceuticals. We believe this to be a better measure of the chemical industry. In addition, the global CPRI has also been recalculated to exclude pharmaceuticals.


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