A leading economic indicator produced by the American Chemistry Council predicts gains in U.S. commercial and industrial activity well into the first quarter of 2019 – but at a slower pace.
The ACC’s Chemical Activity Barometer was flat in August remaining at 122.14 on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. This continued a general softening trend since the first quarter.
The barometer is up 3.8% year-over-year, a slower pace than earlier in the year but similar to that seen in the second half of 2017, ACC reports.
The CAB has four primary components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: production; equity prices; product prices; and inventories and other indicators.
Most production-related indicators in August were positive as were inventories. These were offset by a slip in equity prices and product and input prices which were mixed.
In a separate report, ACC said the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index expanded by 0.4% in July, following an 0.8% gain in June, and a 1.1% increase in May.
During July, chemical output moved higher in all regions, with gains broadly distributed among the regions, the council said. Compared to July 2017, U.S. chemical production was ahead 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions of the country.
Chemical production was mixed over the same three-month period, with gains in the production three-month moving average output trend of organic chemicals; coatings; adhesives; other specialties; pesticides; fertilizers; industrial gases; consumer products; and synthetic dyes and pigments.
These gains were offset by declines in the output trend in plastic resins; synthetic rubber; chlor-alkali; and other inorganic chemicals, ACC reports.