October 2020

Chemical Activity Barometer climbs in October

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that its Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) rose 0.9% in October on a three-month moving average basis, a marked deceleration from the 1.5% gain in September and 2.6% gain in August. On a year-over-year basis, the barometer was down 3.3% in October.

The unadjusted data show a 0.1% gain in October following a 0.8% gain in September and a 1.9% gain in August. The diffusion index eased from 65% to 59% in October. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for September was revised downward by 0.26 points and the reading for August was revised downward by 0.30 points. These were volatile months for the data.

“With six consecutive months of gains, the October CAB reading remains consistent with recovery in the U.S. economy,” said Kevin Swift, Chief Economist at ACC.

The CAB has four main components, each consisting of a variety of indicators:  production; equity prices; product prices and inventories and other indicators.

In September, production-related indicators were mixed. Trends in construction-related resins, pigments and related performance chemistry were largely positive. Resins and chemistry used in light vehicles and other durable goods were positive. Gains in plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications were mixed. Performance chemistry and U.S. exports were mixed. Equity prices rebounded, while product and input prices were positive. Inventory and other supply chain indicators were positive.

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

SOURCE: American Chemistry Council