The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) from the American Chemistry Council fell 2.6% in March on a three-month moving average basis following a downwardly revised 0.1% gain in February. On a year-over-year basis, the barometer fell 1.3% in March.
The unadjusted data shows an 8.0% decline in March following a 1.1% decline in February and a 1.2% gain in January. The unadjusted decline in March is the largest in the post-World War II period. The diffusion index slumped to 27% in March. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for February was revised downward by 1.13 points and that for January was revised downward by 0.38 points.