June 20, 2017 – The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) is a composite index, which is comprised of indicators drawn from a range of chemicals and sectors, including chlorine and other alkalies, pigments, plastic resins and other selected basic industrial chemicals. It has been shown to provide a lead of 2 to 14 months, with an average lead of 8 months at cycle peaks as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The CAB experienced a 0.1% decrease in June to a level of 117.46. Year-over-year from last June is up 3.6%. The first quarter of 2017 showed a 0.5% average monthly increase. During this second quarter, there was a 0.3% increase in April, a 0.2% increase in May, and a 0.1% decrease in June. The 3 month moving average saw an increase of 0.04% from the month before and is up 4.3% from the year before.
The CAB is an index that leads overall industrial production and business cycles. Since the CAB is a leading index for the chemical activity index, it highlights the industry’s role in driving economic growth. Even with a slight decrease in the CAB index this month, the upward trend for several years indicates the emerging field of chemistry will continue to grow and expand. We will continue to keep a close watch on the CAB index the next few months to see if it continues on the trend of the second quarter or if it keeps rising, as this will give us a better idea as to the direction of industrial production.