Health of US chems turns positive for first time since Feb 2008

23 October 2009 19:06  [Source: ICIS news]

US chem health improvesHOUSTON (ICIS news)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) gave the US chemical industry its most positive economic rating for the first time since February 2008 - as companies have resumed restocking, the trade group said on Friday.

Indeed, many industries have started restocking following a massive liquidation that occurred during much of the year, the ACC said.

As such, chemical companies are increasing production, the group said. Utilisation rates rose to 72.3% in September, compared with a low of 67.2% in December 2008.  

US chemical production rose by 0.6% in September versus August, the group said.

Year-over-year comparisons continued to improve - although the September production figure was still off 8.8% when compared with September 2008, the ACC said.

Worldwide, global production in the chemical industry rose for the sixth time in the last seven months, suggesting that a sharp recovery has started, the ACC said.

However, the recovery in the US and western Europe continues to lag behind the world's, said Kevin Swift, chief economist for the ACC.

The recovery, though, is still taking place, and the ACC gave the business of chemistry a green flag. That is the most optimistic of the group's three ratings.

The ACC also gave the general economy a green flag.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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