Contact: Patrick Hurston (202) 249-6506
WASHINGTON (February 19, 2014) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.3 percent in January, following a 0.6 percent gain in December 2013. Production continued to move higher in all seven regions of the U.S. during January.
On a three-month moving average (3MMA), output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector was flat in January, as winter weather disrupted activity in a number of industries. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets expanded, however, including fabricated metal products, computers, semiconductors, rubber products, printing, textile products, and apparel.
Also measured on a 3MMA basis, overall chemical production was again mixed. Gains in the output of chlor-alkali, industrial gases, synthetic dyes and pigments, adhesives, coatings, synthetic rubber, consumer products, plastic resins, pesticides, and other specialties were offset by lower production of manmade fibers, organic chemicals, and fertilizers.
Compared to January 2013, total chemical production in all regions was ahead by 0.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. Chemical production was up on a year-over-year basis in the Midwest, Ohio Valley, and Southeast regions. Compared to last January, production was off in the Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions. Chemical activity was flat in the West Coast region.
The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $770 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96 percent of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry.
The U.S. CPRI was developed to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. It is comparable to the U.S. industrial production index for chemicals published by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average (3MMA). Thus, the reading in January reflects production activity during November, December, and January.
Following a downwardly revised 0.8 percent gain in December, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region rose by 0.4 percent in January. January production was off by 0.3 percent from a year ago. The Gulf Coast region is dominated by the production of key building block materials, such as petrochemicals, inorganics, and synthetic materials, advantaged by shale gas development.
In the Midwest region, which is influenced by production of agricultural chemicals, plastics, paints, and other chemical products, chemical production gained by 0.4 percent in January, following an downwardly revised 0.6 percent gain in December. Compared to January 2013, Midwest chemical production was ahead by 0.1 percent.
In the Ohio Valley region, which is largely influenced by production of basic chemicals, plastics and synthetic rubber, coatings, and consumer products, chemical production expanded by 0.5 percent in January, following a downwardly revised 1.2 percent gain in December. Compared to January 2013, production in the region was up by 1.4 percent.
In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production was higher by 0.3 percent in January, following a downwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in December. Compared to January 2013, Mid-Atlantic chemical production was down 0.5 percent.
In the Southeast region, which is influenced heavily by production of basic chemicals, fibers, agricultural and other chemical products, chemical production edged higher by 0.3 percent in January, following an upwardly revised 0.7 percent gain during December. Compared to January 2013, Southeast region chemical production was up by 0.9 percent year-over-year.
In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production rose by 0.2 percent during January, following a downwardly revised 0.4 percent gain in December. Compared to January 2013, Northeast region chemical production was off by 0.5 percent.
In the West Coast region, chemical production edged higher by 0.3 percent in January, following a 0.3 percent increase in December. Chemical production in the West Coast region was flat compared to last year.