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Final Census Shows Coatings Uptick

Thursday, July 28, 2011

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The coatings industry continues to recover at a modest rate, according to the newest—and final—U.S. Census Bureau Current Industrial Report for Paint and Allied Products.

Total 2010 coatings shipments amounted to 1.153 billion gallons worth $18.024 billion, a rise of 5.87 percent in gallons and 7.7 percent in value over the 2009 figures.

However, those increases are lower than they would have been, since the 2010 report revised the 2009 figures for both value and volume upward by more than 3 percent. The biggest adjustment was in architectural coatings, where the initial 2009 volume of 617 million gallons and value of $8.02 billion were revised to 643 million gallons and $8.6 billion.

Gains Cited

Architectural coatings in 2010 were 652 million gallons (up 1.42 percent over the revised 2009 figure) and $8.78 billion in value (up 2 percent over the revised 2009 value).  OEM coatings shipments were 330.6 million gallons and $5.3 billion, up 15.7 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively, over the revised 2009 figures. Special purpose coatings were 170.5 million gallons with a value of $3.94 billion—up 6.2 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, over the revised 2009 figures.


 American Coatings Association

Coatings manufacturers wanted the Industrial Reports continued, the American Coatings Association said.

Miscellaneous allied paint products shipments were $1.29 billion, a rise of more 8 percent from the $1.19 billion shipped in 2009.

Final Report

The 2010 MA325F report on Paint and Allied Products is scheduled to be the final Current Industrial Report for the coatings industry.

The Census Bureau is planning to discontinue the century-old Current Industrial Reports program, which compiles data on 47 manufacturing industries and agricultural commodities. These reports include the annual MA325F and quarterly MQ325F reports on the coatings industry and cover about one-third of the total manufactured products in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

The Obama administration requested that the $4 million program be terminated “to fund higher-priority programs.” It noted that the Census Bureau has a variety of other data collection initiatives, including the Annual Survey of Manufacturers (ASM); the Monthly Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories & Orders (M3); the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR); and the Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES).

Although the Census will continue to produce annual reports that provide gross sales figures for the coatings industry, it will no longer provide details on architectural, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), or special purpose coatings. Nor will it collect and distribute information concerning the volume (gallons) of coatings shipped by the coatings industry.

ACA Assails Program’s End

The American Coatings Association, which represents coating manufacturers, opposed elimination of the program, saying it would “result in much greater difficulty in benchmarking the performance of the industry and its manufacturers for both manufacturers and suppliers.”

Terminating “this important program will negatively affect not only the coatings industry, but also a wide variety of important U.S. industries,” said ACA, which registered its objections with the leadership of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that have oversight over the Census Bureau.
ACA noted that the Census Bureau previously justified the program by saying that the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), International Trade Administration (ITA) and the International Trade Commission, among others, used the CIR data.

The agency said the CIR are “widely used by thousands of trade associations and private businesses to assess production trends and identify new market opportunities,” according to ACA.

Finally, the bureau noted that the CIR program was “a key part of its trade monitoring responsibility,” including the statistical requirements of Section 608 of the 1974 Trade Act.


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Economy

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