US monthly chemicals output nudges higher – ACC

The US chemical production regional index (CPRI) rose by 0.2% in October on a month-on-month basis, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Wednesday, following an upwardly revised 0.3% increase in September.

Chemical production rose in all regions except the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and West Coast, which declined.

Based on a three-month moving average, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector posted a 0.5% decline in October, following a 0.2% decline in September.

Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including appliances, aerospace and structural panels.

Manufacturing continues to weaken as investment drops ahead of uncertainty around the resolution of the fiscal cliff.

When measured on a three-month moving average basis, chemical production was mixed. Gains in the output of organic chemicals, plastic resins, consumer products, coatings, adhesives, and other specialty chemicals were offset by lower production of pesticides, fertilizers, manmade fibers, synthetic rubber industrial gases, and pharmaceuticals.

Compared to October 2011, total chemical production in all regions was off by 0.2%, following a 0.2% year-over-year decline in September. The year-over-year comparisons were ahead in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions, and those comparisons have improved.

In contrast, year-over-year comparisons remained negative in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Northeast and West Coast regions. On a year-to-date basis, chemical production is up 0.1% nationally, with only the Ohio Valley region ahead.

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