Friday, June 27, 2014

Chemical Activity Barometer for June Suggests "continued growth"

by Calculated Risk on 6/27/2014 02:38:00 PM

Here is a new indicator that I'm following that appears to be a leading indicator for industrial production.

From the American Chemistry Council: Leading Economic Indicator Continues Upward Trend Despite Impacts of Global Unrest

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), continued its upward growth this month, with a 0.5 percent gain from May. Measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA), the CAB’s 0.5 percent gain beat the average first quarter monthly gains of 0.3 percent. Though the pace of growth has slowed significantly, gains in June have brought the CAB up a solid 4.3 percent over this time last year.

“Overall, we are seeing signs of continued growth in the U.S. economy, and trends in construction-related chemistry show a market which has not yet reached its full potential,” said Dr. Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC. “However, unrest in Iraq is already affecting chemical equity prices, and the potential for an energy price shock is worrying,” he added.
emphasis added
Chemical Activity Barometer Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the year-over-year change in the 3-month moving average for the Chemical Activity Barometer compared to Industrial Production.  It does appear that CAB (red) generally leads Industrial Production (blue).

And this suggests continued growth.