March 2017

Chicago Fed National Activity Index

The CFNAI rebounded sharply in February rising to 0.34 from January’s disappointing -0.02. The strong rise boosted the 3 month moving average (3MMA) to 0.25 and the 6MMA to 0.07.  Solid employment gains contributed 0.21 points to the index as non-farm payrolls rose by 235,000 resulting in an unemployment rate of 4.7%. The Chicago Fed [...]

Producer Price Index for Construction

The PPI for all commodities moved up 4.1% year on year (y/y), in February on the heels of a 2.4% increase in January. The index has now increased for months in a row. The material and construction components PPI has increased in each of the last three months and has moved-up on a y/y basis [...]

China Domestic Prices

According to China Metals Weekly, as of March 15th month on month (m/m) long product prices are up across the board ranging from 11.5% for 16# channel to 16.2% for 20mm rebar. For reference 3mm hot rolled coil prices fell 3.4% m/m. On a year on year comparison total China steel prices were up 52.0%. [...]

US Service Center Shipments

U.S. service center total carbon steel shipments increased by 1.7% in February on a three month moving average (3MMA) basis. There was considerable variation between product groups as plate, structural and sheet shipments rose while bar & shapes and pipe & tube posted declines. Table 1 shows percentage change results for shipments, daily intake and [...]

Automotive Sales

Total light vehicle, (LV) sales in January were at an annual rate, of 17.349 M units, down 0.805 million (M) from December and down 0.878 M year on year (y/y). Light truck sales continue to record strong sales of 11.028 M in January, flat y/y. Over the same timeframe, auto (car) sales fell 12.6% y/y to [...]

US Steel Capacity Utilization

In an encouraging sign, the capacity utilization rate has been higher in 7 of the last 10 weeks. During this time, US steel production averaged 1,738,700 tons per week at an average capacity utilization rate of 73.3%.  The capacity utilization jumped from 71.0% in the first week of January to 75.6% for the week ending [...]

US Non-Farm Employment

The total number of seasonally adjusted (SA), non-farm people employed in the US in February 2017 was 145,798,000. This figure was up 235,000 month on month (0.16%) and by 2,251,000 (+1.61%) year on year. The economy continues to create strong overall job growth, averaging 187,583 jobs per month. The SA goods producing sector totaled 19,943,000 [...]

Employment Jobless Claims

New filings for unemployment insurance benefits moved up 20,000 to 243,000 for the week ending March 4th, while the four week moving average was 236,500. Continuing unemployment claims fell 6,000 to 2,058,000 for the week ending February 25th as the net number of unemployed people collecting benefits remained at 1.5% where is has been for [...]

Chicago Fed National Activity Index

After recording a +0.18 reading in December, the CFNAI fell 0.05 points in January because of decreases in production-related indicators. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index is a coincident indicator of broad economic activity. It is released monthly by the Chicago Reserve Board. The index value is set such that a value of 0 indicates [...]

Dodge Momentum Index

The Dodge momentum index moved up 2.3 points or 1.6% in February as the Institutional sub-index surged ahead 4.4% to an all-time high of 133.7. The commercial sub-index stalled in February falling back 0.3% to 152.3. The Dodge momentum index was launched on May 12, 2012 with the intent of becoming a 12 month leading [...]