20 November 2012 17:26 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US chemical activity indicator fell by 0.5% from last month, and the sharp decline may reflect post-election economic uncertainty, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Tuesday.
The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a monthly index developed by ACC economists, dropped to 90.9 from 91.4 a month ago, following four consecutive monthly gains, the ACC said. The index was still 2.9% higher than last year.
The ACC said the CAB could be a reflection of the effects of Hurricane Sandy as well as uncertainty from the “fiscal cliff” that automatically implements income tax increases and federal budget cuts at the end of the year.
“The good news continues to be that we are witnessing sustained, healthy activity in construction-related plastic resins, coatings, pigments and other chemistry,” said ACC chief enconomist Kevin Swift.
The CAB’s three-month moving average increased by 0.4% month over month, indicating four months of increases, which suggests slow and tentative economic growth into 2013, Swift said.
Chemical products contribute to 96% of all manufactured goods, according to the ACC. The CAB’s early chain in supply provides a lead to business cycle peaks and troughs and can help identify trends in related sectors such as housing, automobiles and retail.
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