The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) ended the year on a strong note, posting a monthly gain of 0.3 % and a year-over-year gain of 4.4%, a significant improvement over the first half of the year, and a pace not seen since September 2010.

All data is measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). On an unadjusted basis the CAB climbed 0.6% in December, and 4.8% for the year.

The Chemical Activity Barometer has four primary components, each consisting of a variety of indicators:

1) production

2) equity prices

3) product prices

4) inventories and other indicators

Improvements

In December all of the four core categories for the CAB improved.

Production-related indicators were positive, despite the previous week’s announcement that housing starts tumbled.

ACC Chief Economist Kevin Swift noted, “Housing starts were at a nine-year high.”

“The foundation remains strong. Overall trends in construction-related resins, pigments, and related performance chemistry were positive and suggest further gains in housing next year,” Swift added.

Other indicators, including equity prices, product prices, and inventory were also positive.