The monthly Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com), rose in January by 0.8 percentage points, the sixth consecutive month that the leading macroeconomic indicator has increased. The CAB for December 2012 was revised upward by 0.6 points, ACC noted in its latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report.
The six straight months of increases (on a three-month-moving-average basis) follow three months of decline prior to that, ACC notes. Within the January gain, the CAB showed acceleration in the activity in construction-related plastic resins, coatings, pigments and other chemistry. Equity prices were also strongly positive, the ACC report says, and product prices rose as well.
“In summary, the CAB continues to signal and expanding U.S. economy into mid-2013, but economic uncertainty is still present,” the report says.
In other chemistry-related economic data, the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) rose 0.3% in December, and the Global CPRI was stable in December, the ACC report adds. For 2012 as a whole, global production of chemicals rose just 2.8%, the weakest performance since the “Great Recession,” ACC notes.