The American Chemistry Council’s October Chemical Activity Barometer – said to be a leading economic indicator – is pointing to continued growth in the economy well into 2017.
But as has been the case throughout most of the recovery from the 2008 recession, that growth doesn’t appear to be particularly strong.
The CAB consists of four primary components incorporating several indicators: production, equity prices, product prices and inventories.
ACC reports that the barometer notched another solid gain of 0.3% in October, following an upwardly revised increase of 0.4% in September.
Accounting for adjustments, the CAB is up 4.2% over October last year, a marked rise over earlier comparisons and the greatest year-over-year gain since August of 2014, the council points out.
All of this data is measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). On an unadjusted basis the CAB climbed 0.3% in October, following a 0.4% gain in September.
In a separate report, ACC said the U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes rose 0.3% in September. This follows a revised 0.1% gain in August and 0.3% gain in July.
Of the 28 specialty chemical segments monitored, 21 expanded in September, four were stable and the remaining three markets experienced declines.
During that month large gains (1.0% and over) were noted in adhesives and sealants and in mining chemicals, the council reports.
The specialty chemicals volume index was off 1.5% year-over-year and has been down since 2014 because of the drop in oil and gas demand.. The index stood at 104.6% of its average 2012 levels.