March 2017

Consumer Credit

Total consumer spending increased by just $8.8 billion in January far short of the $17 billion consensus expectation. This was the smallest month on month gain since December 2015. Revolving credit declined by $3.8, while non-revolving credit expanded by $12.6 billion. While this is concerning, a one month data-point does not a trend make. The [...]

US Steel Production and Capacity Utilization

Over the first nine weeks of 2017, US steel production averaged 1,733,000 tons per week at an average capacity utilization rate of 72.1%. The most recent four week moving average production was 1,759,000 tons. This was 3.9% higher than the same period in 2016 resulting in a 74.3% capacity utilization rate. Figure 1 shows production [...]

Consumer Confidence

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Composite index rose 3.4 points in February to reach 114.8, the highest reading since August 2001. The Present Situation sub-index score was 133.4 its highest level since August 2007, while the Expectation index came-in at 102.4, it highest value since January 2005. Figure 1 shows that the present situation is [...]

US Industrial Production

The overall Industrial Production (IP) index was flat both month on month and year on year in January. The index for manufacturing output rose 0.2% in January. However, the production of motor vehicles and parts decreased 2.9% while other manufacturing production manufacturing increased by 0.5%.  The output of construction supplies advanced 0.9%, while the index [...]

Construction Put-In-Place (CPIP)

CPIP is based on construction spending work as it occurs. Data released by the US Census Bureau on March1st reported that total construction spending increased 5.9% year on year for the 12 months ending January 2017. On a three month year on year comparison, spending rose a slightly lower 4.9%. Table 1 displays non-seasonally adjusted (NSA), [...]

China Domestic Prices

The latest issue of China Metals Weekly for the week ending March 1st showed that long product prices continued to rise sharply. Rebar (20mm), advanced 3.0% week on week to reach $491 per net ton. On a month on month comparison rebar jumped 16.4% and on a year on year basis rebar jumped was up [...]

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index for February rose to 57.6, up 1.1 points month on month, better than the consensus expectation and its best reading since August 2015. On a 3 month moving average basis the index scored 56.8, up 2.7%. However, on year on year comparison the index was down 2.3%. Momentum [...]

ISM Manufacturing Index

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for February rose to 57.7, up 1.7 points m/m, beating analyst expectations and its best showing since October 2014. On a 3 month moving average basis the index scored 56.1, up 15.4%, 3 months year on year. The ISM manufacturing index is based on surveys of 400 purchasing [...]