July 2019

American Chemistry Council says chemical activity barometer fell in July

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) fell 0.2% in July on a three-month moving average basis, according to by the American Chemistry Council (ACC). This follows three months of gains in March-May and a weak winter. On a year-over-year basis, the barometer fell 0.2%.

The unadjusted measure of the CAB rose 0.2% in July and fell 0.4% in June. The diffusion index rose to 65% in July. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for June was revised downward by 0.39 points and that for May by 0.09 points.

“A pattern of fluctuating barometer readings – months up followed by months down – indicates late-cycle activity,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC. “The CAB reading continues to signal moderate gains in U.S. commercial and industrial activity through late 2019, but rising volatility suggests change may be on the way.”

The CAB is based on four components (production, equity prices, product prices and inventories). Production-related indicators in June were slightly positive. Trends in construction-related resins, pigments and related performance chemistry were mixed and suggest few gains in housing activity. Plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications were positive. Performance chemistry was positive and U.S. exports were mixed. Equity prices slipped this month, while product and input prices rose. Inventory and other indicators were positive.

For the full data set, visit https://www.americanchemistry.com/CAB-vs-Industrial-Production/

SOURCE: American Chemistry Council