The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), fell 5.5% in April on a three-month moving average basis following a downwardly revised 2.9% decline in March. On a year-over-year basis, the barometer fell 7.3% in April.
The unadjusted data shows a 6.7% decline in April following an 8.9% decline in March and a 1.0% decline in February. The diffusion index slumped from 47% to 35% in April. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for March was revised downward by 1.04 points and that for February was revised upward by 0.07 points.
“The latest CAB reading is consistent with a recession,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC. “The declines of April and March are the most pronounced, pervasive and persistent in the post-World War II period.”