Processing Magazine

‘Chemical Activity Barometer’ shows decline in US economic growth

June 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Tuesday released the first monthly report of its Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a new leading macroeconomic indicator. The data suggest that the broader U.S. economic recovery is slowing. The June CAB indicates that the U.S. economy will experience modest or decreased growth in economic activity for the remainder of the year and that the U.S. housing market has bottomed.

"The business of chemistry is absolutely essential to the U.S. economy and is one of the nation''s most significant manufacturing industries," said Cal Dooley, ACC''s president and CEO. "Our industry plays a key role as an economic growth engine and this new leading economic indicator highlights that link between chemistry and the economy," he added.

The CAB is a composite index of chemical industry measures that produces a leading indicator of broader economy-wide activity. It comprises indicators drawn from a range of chemicals and sectors including indicators relating to the production of chlorine and other alkalies, pigments, plastic resins and other selected basic industrial chemicals; chemical company stock data; hours worked in chemicals; publicly sourced, chemical price information; end-use (or customer) industry sales-to-inventories; and several broader leading economic measures (building permits and new orders).

The preliminary June data from the CAB showed a decrease of 1.3% over the previous month. This follows relatively strong gains during the early months of 2012.