Consumer, Business Confidence Reach Levels Not Seen In Decades; Optimism Reflected In Increased Chemical Industry Activity

 PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), posted its strongest year-over-year gain in nearly seven years. The 5.5 percent increase over this time last year reflects elevated consumer and business confidence and an overall rising optimism in the U.S. economy. Speaking last week, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen also referenced a “confidence in the robustness of the economy” as a reason to move forward with an interest rate hike. 
The barometer posted a 0.5 percent gain in March, following a 0.5 percent gain in February and 0.4 percent gain in January. All data is measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). Coupled with consecutive monthly gains in the fourth quarter of 2016, the pattern shows consistent, accelerating activity. On an unadjusted basis the CAB climbed 0.4 percent in March, following a 0.4 percent gain in February and a 0.6 percent increase in January..

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 March, production-related indicators were positive, with U.S. exports improving. Equity prices Continue reading