November 2020

Chemical Activity Barometer rises in November

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that the Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator derived from a composite index of chemical industry activity, rose 0.8% in November on a three-month moving average basis following a 1.0% gain in October. On a year-over-year basis, the barometer fell 2.4% in November.

The unadjusted data show a 1.3% gain in November following a 0.5% gain in October and a 0.7% gain in September. The diffusion index eased from 76% to 71% in November. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for October was revised upward by 0.38 points and the reading for September was revised downward by 0.06 points. These were highly volatile months for the data. The November data are provisional and subject to revision, ACC said.

“With seven straight months of gains, the November CAB reading is 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: 1) production; 2) equity prices; 3) product prices; and 4) inventories and other indicators.

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

For the full data set, visit https://www.americanchemistry.com/CAB-vs-Industrial-Production/. The next CAB is planned for Dec. 29.

Source: American Chemistry Council