The Chemical Activity Barometer, a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council, shows steady growth for the industry for the first three quarters of 2018.
The CAB posted a 0.1% gain in September on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, continuing a five-month trend of slow but steady growth this year. The barometer also is up 4.0% (3MMA) year over year.
The unadjusted CAB posted a strong 0.4% increase in September. This followed upward revisions in July and August of 0.41% and 0.34%, respectively.
The CAB is made up of four primary components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: production; equity prices; product prices; and inventories and other indicators.
All major components of the barometer showed gains in September, including strong gains in equity prices and product/input prices.
The diffusion index remained at 71%. This index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored, the council explains.
Resin Production Also Up
In a separate report, ACC said U.S. production of major plastic resins totaled 7.6 billion pounds during August 2018, an increase of 19.3% compared to the same month in 2017.
Year-to-date production was 57.6 billion pounds, a 7.9% increase as compared to the same period in 2017, the council reports.
Sales and captive (internal) use of major plastic resins totaled 7.7 billion pounds during August 2018, an increase of 15.3% from the same month one year earlier.
Year-to-date sales and captive use were 57.3 billion pounds, representing a 7.6% increase as compared to the same period in 2017.