Alternative leading indicator of the day: chemical shipments

October 23, 2013

Calculated Risk, the widely-read economic blog that always tends to spot interesting data sets, put together this chart. The data is from the American Chemistry Council, and its an impressive proxy for US economic growth.

Here’s more on this data — officially referred to as the Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) — from the American Chemistry Council:

Applying the CAB back to 1919, it has been shown to provide a longer lead (or perform better) than the National Bureau of Economic Research, by two to 14 months, with an average lead of eight months at cycle peaks. The median lead was also eight months. At business cycle troughs, the CAB leads by one to seven months, with an average lead of three months. The median lead was also three months. The CAB is rebased to the average lead (in months) of an average 100 in the base year (the year 2007 was used) of a reference time series. The latter is the Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production Index.

Check out the always-excellent Calculated Risk for more.

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see