US May manufacturing falls in key plastics region - survey

29 May 2009 21:40  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The decline in US manufacturing accelerated in May in the midwest, an important region for plastics makers, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said in its weekly economic report issued on Friday.

According to the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago, the purchasing managers index (PMI) in the US midwest unexpectedly fell by 5.2 points to 34.9, contradicting analyst expectations of a slight gain.

An index of 50 or over indicates that manufacturing is expanding, while an index below 50 shows a decline.

“This is an important regional index for the chemical industry as Chicago is a geographical focus for plastics processing, and the report suggests that the manufacturing sector in this region continues to be very weak,” the ACC said.

“Plastic resins sales correlate well with this index,” the ACC added.

The production index held steady at 38.1, but new orders slipped by 4.8 points to 37.3. In addition, order backlogs fell while inventories rose slightly.

The survey showed a decline despite ACC reports of increased US polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene (PE) production in April.

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By: Ben DuBose
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