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September 20, 2013

Global and U.S. chemical production both slip in August, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) slipped 0.1% in August, the first decline since a soft patch last November, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com). The U.S. CPRI also edged down, by 0.3% in August, and chemical production was lower in all seven geographic regions for the second consecutive month, the ACC said in its latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report. 
 
U.S. chemical production is, however is 1.2% higher than a year ago at this time, on a three-month-moving-average basis. Global production was up 2.7% year-over-year.
 
Other recent economic data cited in the ACC report were positive, however. The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators suggested growth improvement, and the survey of economic forecasters remained “positive in their outlook for slow, but continued expansion” for the rest of 2013, with accelerating growth into 2014 and 2015.  
 
Additional data reported in recent ACC reports show the following:
  • The Census Bureau reported that wholesale sales of chemical products rose by 1.1% to $10.1 billion in July, following a 1.4% decline in June. Chemical inventories also rose, by 2.0% to $12.3 billion, following a 1.4% gain in June. Compared to a year ago, sales were up 1.7% while inventories were ahead by 6.9%. The inventories-to-sales ratio ticked up to 1.19 com-pared to 1.17 in June. A year ago, it was a lean 1.13, suggesting some accumulation is occurring, ACC said.
  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its composite leading indicator(CLI) for July and the CLIs point to improvements in growth in most major OECD countries, but stabilizing or slowing momentum in large emerging economies, ACC noted.

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