Industrial production is the key indicator for chemical sales. And it appears a significant decline is now underway in manufacturing. The chart shows August's purchasing manager indices (PMIs) for most of the major countries/regions. India, Switzerland, Greece and Brazil were the only ones showing expansion.
Reporting on the eurozone figures this morning, the Financial Times says they indicate that it 'has fallen into recession, with industry particularly badly hit by the fallout from global economic turmoil'. It adds that new orders in the eurozone are falling at the 'fastest pace in 5 years'.