According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index rose by 0.4% in January, following a revised 0.2% gain in December. Following several months of mixed results, chemical production rose in all seven key regions during January.
Output of the nation's overall manufacturing sector rose by 0.7% in January, according to a three-month moving average of Federal Reserve data. This followed 0.6% gain in December. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including motor vehicles, construction supplies, computers, plastic products, paper, structural panels, machinery, printing, apparel, and furniture. Gains in production of organic chemicals, industrial gases, inorganic chemicals, plastic resins, pesticides, and adhesives were also seen using the three-month moving average. These gains were offset by declines in the production of consumer products, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals.
Compared with January 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up 1.2% and remained ahead year-over-year in all regions except the mid-Atlantic and West Coast which were off from a year ago. Year-ago comparisons continue to weaken for the U.S. as a whole, with all regions trending downward on a Y/Y basis.
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