August 22, 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 edged down slightly in August to 117.58 compared to July’s reading of 117.60. Year-over-year from last August is up 3.0%. The second quarter of 2017 showed an increase of 0.1%. The 3 month moving average saw an increase of 0.03% from the month before and is up 3.2% from the year before.
The CAB is a leading index for the chemical activity index and can be used to reveal trends and turning points in the economy. Despite the slight dip in the CAB in August, the long run trend from 2009 illustrates the growing field of chemistry. CAB also provides a general direction for future industrial production readings. Due to volatile month-to-month readings, it is best to measure CAB on a three-month moving average to get the most accurate reading.