Thursday, January 28, 2016

This seems... not good: "Chemical Activity Barometer Notches Slight Gain as Signs of Slowing Growth Mount"

The American Chemistry Council has a "Chemical Activity Barometer", which measures industrial activity around the production of basic chemicals and the like. It debuted around 2011, and the metrics led the Great Recession by ~8 months. With that in mind, the January readings are not so encouraging:
WASHINGTON (January 26, 2016) – The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), ticked up slightly in January, rising 0.1 percent following a downward adjustment of 0.1 percent in December. All data is measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). Accounting for adjustments, the CAB remains up 1.6 percent over this time last year, a marked deceleration of activity from one year ago when the barometer logged a 3.2 percent year-over-year gain from 2014. On an unadjusted basis the CAB fell 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent in December and January, respectively, raising concerns about the pace of future business activity through the second quarter of 2016. 
The Chemical Activity Barometer has four primary components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: 1) production; 2) equity prices; 3) product prices; and 4) inventories and other indicators. 
In January, as reflected by markets around the world, equity prices were hard hit. Flat inventories and production also added drag to the barometer....
I have to ask myself: from an economic perspective, is the November 2016 presidential election one that I would want to win? Will there be a bagel in 2017?

(My guess: No.) 


  1. Idea: American PhD's programs in Chem, and eventually, in Biotech should teach Chinese to PhD students, as that is where the only industry jobs will be, at least if you don't walk out with a great Publication Record to teach somewhere. Furthermore, respirator training in the lab should come in handy on those not-so-clear-days in Wandong province.....

  2. Some economists(:/) predict 60% chance of another 'bagel'.