May 2017

U.S. Steel Capacity Utilization

For the first 18 weeks of 2017, US steel production averaged 1.730 million (M), tons per week at an average capacity utilization rate of 73.4%. The most recent four week capacity utilization rate edged-up to 74.5% at an average production rate pf 1.726 M tons per week, 1.3% higher than the same four weeks in [...]

Consumer Credit

Total consumer spending increased by $16.4 billion (B), in March well above the $15.0 billion consensus expectation. This was 6.1% increase year on year and encouraging news that consumers are confident and increasing their spending.  Revolving credit increased by $1.96 B, +5.35% y/y while installment loans expanded by $14.47 B, +6.4%. The economy continues to [...]

U.S. and Canadian Oil and Gas Rotary Rig Counts

The total number of operating rigs in the US the week ending May 5th was 877, 703 oil and 173 gas. On a month on month (m/m) basis oil rig count is was up 4.6%, gas was up 4.8%. West Texas Intermediate (WTI), crude oil had a strong run-up in price from $47.34 per barrel [...]

Dodge Momentum Index

The Dodge momentum index three month moving average (3MMA) rolled back up 2.6 points or 1.8% in April. The index has advanced in five of the previous six months. The index predicts non-residential construction activity approximately 12 months out. The 3MMA institutional sub-index fell 1.6% after reaching its all-time high of 138.3 in March. The [...]

The Baltic Dry Index

The BDI for the first three days in May averaged 1,072. Year to date (YTD), the index has averaged 1,014. In the same period last year the BDI average was 427. The BDI is a shipping and trade index created by the London-based Baltic Exchange that measures changes in the cost to transport raw materials and includes [...]

U.S. Non-farm Employment Net Job Creation

The total number of seasonally adjusted (SA), non-farm people employed in the US in April 2017 was 146,063,000. This figure increased by 253,000 jobs on a three month moving average (3MMA) and by 2,330,000 year on year. The month on month figure was easily beat the average job creation over the past year which was [...]

Employment Jobless Claims (New and Continuous)

New seasonally adjusted (SA), filings for unemployment insurance benefits fell 19,000 to 238,000 for the week ending April 29th, while the four week moving average (4WMA), was 243,000, up 0.3% week on week. The current SA new claims number is now 64% below the 665,000 peak realized the week of March 28th 2009. Figure 1 [...]

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

  The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing composite index for April was up 2.3 points month on month to 57.6, besting analyst’s expectations. On a 3 month moving average basis the index scored 56.8, up 4.1%. Momentum (defined as 3 month minus 12 month), was positive 4.9%. Overall, the details were encouraging as new orders, business [...]

U.S. Steel Merchant February Final and April License Imports

Merchant final imports to the US in February were down 10.6% year to date (YTD), year on year (y/y), totaling 84,529 tons for the two months ending February 2017. On a month over month comparison, Merchant imports were down 0.9%. Figure 1 charts the largest exporting countries in rank order on a YTD basis through [...]

ISM Manufacturing Index

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for April fell 2.4 points month on month to 54.8, a weaker than analyst expectations of a score of 56.1. A sharp decline in the sub-index for new orders was the principal cause of the decline in the overall index. The ISM manufacturing index is based on surveys [...]