Today, the American Chemistry Council released the August report of the Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), ACC’s new leading macroeconomic indicator launched in June of this year.
The August CAB data showed a growth rate of 0.4 percent from last month, which suggests that economic growth in the second half of the year will continue slowly, although steadily.
This is similar to what we saw in July, with growth driven primarily by improving equity prices and positive trends in construction and light vehicle-related chemical production. (And looking at 2010 and 2011 historical data, there was a similar uptick in growth following three consecutive months of decline.)
Looking at our August data specifically, we saw that key CAB indicators such as chemical company equities rose, while chemical prices were down. Production-related indicators and inventories remained flat.
The August CAB data showed a continued recovery underway in housing and light vehicles, which continues to suggest a potential recovery in each of these. August data, along with the July data, also indicated a continued softening of the U.S. export market.
August’s CAB is the third monthly report developed by ACC’s Economics and Statistics Department to anticipate the peaks and troughs in the overall U.S. economy and highlight potential trends in other domestic industries. It includes indicators drawn from a range of sectors closely linked to the business of chemistry such as housing, retail, and automobiles.
And because the products of chemistry are positioned so early in the supply chain, it is uniquely situated to determine turning points and trends in the downstream sectors and ultimately the wider economy.
Please subscribe to our feed to receive next month’s Chemicals Activity Barometer update. You may also visit our webpage http://www.americanchemistry.com/CAB dedicated to learning more about chemistry’s influence on the U.S. and global economy.