WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), fell 0.5% in August on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following steadily easing gains in May, June and July. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer rose 12.5% in August (3MMA).The unadjusted data show a 1.6% decline in August after flat readings in July and June. The diffusion index eased to 82% in August. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for July was revised downward by 0.53 points and the reading for June was revised downward by 0.33 points. The August data are provisional and subject to revision."The latest CAB reading is consistent with expansion of commerce, trade and industry, but clearly growth has peaked, with slower growth ahead." said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.The CAB has four main components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: 1) production; 2) equity prices; 3) product prices; and 4) inventories and other indicators.In August, production-related indicators were up slightly. Trends in construction-related resins and related performance chemistry improved. Resins and chemistry used in other durable goods increased. Plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications showed gains. Performance chemistry for industry was solid and exports grew. Equity prices declined amid geopolitical uncertainty and fears about the Delta variant. Product and input prices expanded.Inventory and other supply chain indicators were positive.
If the economy starts cooling off in general, it's possible the very hot chemistry job market might slow down, especially since the CAB sounds like it's been dialing back since May - here's hoping otherwise.
Best wishes to all of us.