The Chemical Activity Barometer rose 1.1% in December on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, unchanged from November and October. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer fell 1.1% percent in December.
The unadjusted data show a 0.7% gain in December following a 1.8% increase in November and a 0.7% rise in October.
“With eight consecutive months of gains, the December CAB reading is consistent with recovery in the U.S. economy,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.
The CAB reading for November was revised upward by 0.24 points and that for October was revised upward by 0.89 points. These were highly volatile months for the data, the council explains.
As always, the December data are provisional and subject to revision, ACC noted.
The CAB offers a lead of two to 14 months, with an average lead of eight months at cycle peaks, to show where the economy is going.
CAB’s four main components, each consisting of a variety of indicators, are production; equity prices; product prices; and inventories and other indicators.
In December, production-related indicators were positive. Despite strength in housing activity, trends in construction-related resins, pigments and related performance chemistry were mixed.
Reflecting strength in manufacturing, resins and chemistry used in other durable goods were strong, according to the ACC. Gains in plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications were positive and suggest further growth in retail sales.
Performance chemistry for industry continued to expand. U.S. exports were positive, while equity prices increased, but at a slower pace. Product and input prices were modestly positive. Inventory and other supply chain indicators were positive.