The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has developed a new economic index to track U.S. economic conditions. The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) comprises indicators drawn from a range of chemicals and sectors including indicators relating to the production of chlorine and other alkalies, pigments, plastic resins and other selected basic industrial chemicals, including fertilizers; chemical company stock data; hours worked in chemicals; publicly sourced, chemical price information; end-use (or customer) industry sales-to-inventories; and several broader leading economic measures (building permits and new orders).
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The preliminary June data from the CAB showed a decrease of 1.3% over the previous month. This follows relatively strong gains during the early months of 2012. "After a relatively strong start to 2012, ACC's CAB is signaling a slowing of the U.S. economic recovery," said Dr. Kevin Swift, Chief Economist at ACC. "The CAB also appears to suggest that the long-anticipated U.S. housing market recovery is emerging, but the recovery will be slow. As we look at the remainder of 2012, the CAB points to a continued weakness in economic growth in the second half of the year."