Chemistry and Economics Weekly Trends (November 10, 2023)

Chemistry and Economics Weekly Trends (November 10, 2023)


Plastic resin production


Wholesale stocks

Running tab for macro indicators: 10 out of 20

11-10-23-Macro Summary

The number of new unemployment claims fell by 3,000 to 217,000 during the week ending November 4. Continuing claims increased by 2,000 to 1,600 million, and the insured unemployment rate was unchanged for the week ending October 28 at 1.2%.

Consumer credit rose $9.1 billion in September (2.2% annual rate increase) after a one-time decline of $15.8 billion in August when loan repayments dragged down the overall balance. The pace of growth in revolving debt decreased significantly from 13.7% in August to 2.9% in September. Nonrevolving debt, which includes student loans and auto loans, fell at a rate of 9.8% in August, but resumed growth at a rate of 1.9% in September. Separately, New York Fed data reported that credit card defaults are on the rise.

The US trade deficit widened by 4.9% (or $2.9 billion) in September to $61.5 billion, with imports growing by 2.7% and exports growing by 2.2%. Merchandise exports rose in industrial supplies and materials (including gains in crude oil and other petroleum products), food, feed and beverages (including gains in soybeans and corn), and in other commodities. Imports were higher for consumer goods (especially mobile phones and household goods), automobiles and parts (especially passenger cars), capital goods (including computer peripherals, aircraft parts, other industrial machinery, and material handling equipment), and industrial supplies and materials. (largely reflects gains in crude oil).

11-10-23-Ratio of wholesale inventory to sales

Wholesale inventories rose 0.2% in September but were 1.2% below their levels a year ago. Inventories were lower in most categories but were higher for automobiles, lumber, computers, machinery, pharmaceuticals, groceries and oil. Wholesale sales rose 2.2% in September to a high of 0.9% year-on-year. The ratio of wholesale inventories to sales fell from 1.36 in August to 1.33 in September.

11-10-23-Energy Summary

Oil prices fell to their lowest level in three months due to renewed concerns about the economic recovery in China and the United States. U.S. natural gas prices also fell due to record production and expectations for milder weather through late November. After three straight weeks of gains, the total number of oil and gas rigs fell by seven to 614.

Indicators for chemistry work are reminiscent of a yellow sign.

11-10-23-Chemical Summary

According to data from the Association of American Railroads, chemical railcar loadings fell to 30,096 for the week ending November 4. Downloads were down 2.2% year over year (13-week MA), down (2.1%) year-to-date. It has been on the rise for 7 of the last 13 weeks.

11-10-23- Loading chemical railway cars

Wholesale chemical inventories fell 1.2% in September, after a 2.3% decline in August. Chemical sales at the wholesale level decreased by 0.7%. The ratio of inventories to shipments was unchanged at 1.11 in September. Inventories decreased by 12.9% year-over-year while sales decreased by 7.5% year-over-year.

11-10-23-Ratios of chemical supplies inventory to shipments

US chemical exports fell 1.0% in September to a low of 10.0% year over year. Exports declined in consumer products, agricultural chemicals, inorganics, bulk petrochemicals, and specialties. Plastic resin exports rose by 2.3% but fell by 10.4% year-on-year. Chemical imports fell by 3.9% in September and fell by 19.3% year-on-year. Imports declined in most categories. The US chemicals trade surplus expanded by $3.2 billion in September.

U.S. production of major plastic resins totaled 7.9 billion pounds in September, down 7.2% month-over-month and up 8.9% year-over-year, according to ACC statistics. Production since the beginning of the year to date has reached 71.9 billion pounds, an increase of 1.7% year-on-year. Sales and captive (internal) use of key plastic resins rose 6.4% to £8.1 billion in September, a high of 4.7% year-on-year. Sales and household use from the beginning of the year to date amounted to 71.2 billion pounds, an increase of 1.3% compared to the same period in 2022.

A note on color codes

The colors of the logos reflect an assessment of current conditions in the overall economy and chemistry of business. For the general economy, we maintain a continuous table of 20 indicators. The banner color of the Macroeconomics section is determined as follows:

Green – 13 positive points or more
Yellow – between 8 and 12 positive
Red – 7 positives or less

There are fewer indicators available for the chemical industry. Our assessment of logo color is based largely on how chemical industry production has changed over the last three months.

for more information

ACC members can access additional data, economic analyses, presentations, forecasts, and weekly economic updates through ACCexchange.

In addition to this weekly report, the ACC provides numerous other economic data covering global production, trade, shipments, inventories, price indexes, energy, employment, investment, research and development, occupational health and safety, financial performance measures, macroeconomic data, plus more. To order, visit

Every effort has been made in preparing this weekly report to provide the best information and analysis available. However, neither the American Chemistry Council nor any of its employees, agents or other assigns makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any liability or responsibility for any use, or the results of such use, of any information or data disclosed in this material. .

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