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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chemical Activity Barometer "Pace of Growth Slows for Leading Economic Indicator"

by Calculated Risk on 9/23/2014 12:49:00 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: Pace of Growth Slows for Leading Economic Indicator for Second Consecutive Month

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), continued to see an easing of growth this month, with a 0.1 percent gain over August as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). Growth for the third quarter stands at an average monthly gain of 0.2 percent compared to the strong 0.5 percent monthly average during the first half of the year. Despite the softening pace, the September CAB marked a string of consecutive gains going back to July 2012. Though the pace of growth has slowed, current gains have the CAB up a healthy 3.9 percent over this time last year, and the barometer remains at its highest level since January 2008. ...

Though the production indicator was flat in September, construction-related coatings, pigments and other performance chemistries remained strong, despite last week’s weak housing report. Chemical equities were up sharply this month, continuing to outpace the broader market. New orders and inventories improved in September but at a slower pace than earlier months.
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.