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March 8, 2013
Wholesale chemical sales up in January for the U.S.
Sales of chemicals at the wholesale level increased in January in the U.S. by 0.8% to $10.4 billion, according to U.S. Census Bureau data that were discussed in the latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com
The January increase follows a 1.2% increase in December 2012, and as a result of the January rise, the inventories-to-sales ratio for chemicals fell from 1.20 to 1.14 in January, according to the ACC report. Compared to a year ago, the ratio is slightly down (1.18 last year).
In data from abroad, the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Manager’s Index) slipped 0.6 percentage points to 50.8 in February, suggesting that global manufacturing continued to improve, but at a slower pace, the ACC report said. Readings above 50 for the PMI indicate expanding business activity, while those below 50 indicate contraction.
Global manufacturing production rose for the fourth straight month, with the U.S. being a key driver of growth, the report said. Europe was a key area of weakness, the report added. India, Mexico and Brazil show rises in output, while China posted a weaker increase, the report pointed out. Japan recorded a modest decline. “The key take-away [from this information] is that growth in global manufacturing was maintained in February despite many headwinds,” the ACC report commented.