December 2019 Chemical Activity Barometer Little Changed And Continues In Contraction

From the American Chemistry Council

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB)was stable (0.0 percent change) in December on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following a 0.1 percent gain in November. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer rose 0.4 percent (3MMA) and follows two months of negative year-earlier comparisons.

The unadjusted December data was flat (0.0 percent change) following a revised 0.5 percent gain in November. The diffusion index fell to 47 percent in December. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for November was revised upward by 0.19 points and that for October up by 0.26 points.

The Chemical Activity Barometer has four primary components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: 1) production; 2) equity prices; 3) product prices; and 4) inventories and other indicators.

Production-related indicators eased in December. Although trends in construction-related resins, pigments and related performance chemistry were mixed, they suggest further slow gains in housing, which has been on an upward trend. Plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications were mixed. Performance chemistry eased, reflecting weakness among industrial end-use markets. U.S. exports were weak. Equity prices rose sharply again this month, while product and input prices were mixed. Inventory and other indicators were mixed.

Per Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC:

The CAB signals slow gains in U.S. commerce into the third quarter of 2020

 

Caveats on the Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB):

The CAB is designed and prepared in compliance with ACC's Antitrust Guidelines and FTC Safe Harbor Guidelines; does not use company-specific price information as input data, and data is aggregated such that company-specific and product-specific data cannot be determined.

Note: Every effort has been made in the preparation of this publication to provide the best available information. However, neither the American Chemistry Council, nor any of its employees, agents or other assigns makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any liability or responsibility for any use, or the results of such use, of any information or data disclosed in this material.

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