US Gulf petchem activity rises during past six weeks, Fed

17 July 2013 20:18  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Manufacturing activity among petrochemical producers on the US Gulf coast increased during the past six weeks, although most markets were stable, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

The region's petrochemical industry maintained a positive outlook about the domestic market, but weakness around the world also weighed in on expectations, the Fed said in its Beige Book.

The Beige Book is a summary of economic activity among the 12 Federal Reserve districts. The 11th district includes much of the US Gulf coast, the nation's petrochemical hub.

Refiners reported that operating rates and margins rose since the last Beige Book was released, about six weeks ago, the Federal Reserve said.

Energy activity remained high, and the industry expects it will increase further in the second half of the year, the Fed said. Global demand remained steady, although there was some weakness from Mexico and Canada.

For the US as a whole, the economy continued to increase at a modest pace, the Federal Reserve said. Manufacturing expanded in most of the 12 districts, with many reporting increases in new orders, shipments or production.

Most districts also reported increases in consumer spending and automobile sales, the Fed said. Every district reported moderate to strong increases in real estate and construction activity during the past six weeks.

By: Al Greenwood
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