The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) expanded by 2.2% in December following a 0.8% gain in November and a 0.2% decline in October, according to the American Chemistry Council.
Chemical output rose in all regions, with the largest gains occurring in the Midwest and Gulf Coast. The U.S. CPRI is measured as a three-month moving average (3MMA).
Chemical production was mixed in December, with an improving trend in the production of coatings, adhesives, consumer products, crop protection, other specialty chemicals, organic chemicals, synthetic rubber, manufactured fibers, plastic resins, basic inorganic chemicals, and synthetic dyes and pigments, the council said.
These gains were offset by weakness in the output of industrial gases.
As nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical demand. Manufacturing output expanded for a sixth consecutive month in December, by 0.6%. The 3MMA trend in manufacturing production was mixed, with gains in the output of food and beverages, appliances, motor vehicles, construction supplies, fabricated metal products, machinery, computers and electronics, semiconductors, refining, foundries, oil and gas extraction, rubber products, paper, printing, structural panels, textile mill products, and furniture.
Compared with December 2020, U.S. chemical production was ahead by 3.2% in December, an improved comparison from the previous month. Chemical production continued to be higher than a year ago in all regions.
The U.S. CPRI was developed to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. It is based on information from the Federal Reserve, and as such, includes monthly revisions as published by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. CPRI includes the most recent Federal Reserve benchmark revision released on May 28, 2021.
To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average. Thus, the reading in December reflects production activity during October, November, and December.