March 2018

Architectural Billings Index

February’s ABI national overall score of 52.0 was down 2.7 points from January’s 54.7 but still well into the expansionary zone, (>50). U.S. architecture firms with emphasis on multifamily and/or institutional specialization reported exceptional strong billings. Regionally activity was especially strong in the West and Midwest. The new projects inquiry index came in at 62.4, [...]

Producer Price Index for Construction

The February Bureau of Labor Statistics producer prices index, (PPI) excluding food and energy, the final demand goods PPI rose 0.2% for the third consecutive month. The PPI for all commodities was up 0.8% month on month, (m/m). On a 12 month year on year, (y/y) comparison, the all commodities PPI rose 4.0%. Inflation beyond [...]

U.S. Service Center Shipments

On a three month moving average, (3MMA) basis, February total carbon steel shipments averaged 140,700 tons per day, climbing 4.1% year on year, (y/y). Bar and Shapes and Plate shipments led the advance, each recording double-digits percentage increases. Table 1 shows percentage change results for shipments, daily intake and inventory level. In all cases the [...]

Automotive Sales

Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), shows that total light (cars and light truck/SUVs), vehicle sales in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, (SAAR) of 17.505 million (M), units, down 724,000 units or 4.0% from December. On a three month moving average (3MMA), basis sales were tracking at 17.867M, down 1.7% [...]

Job Turnover and Openings Report

Businesses have a mountain of jobs to fill, another data point on just how strong the economy is at the present time. Job openings increased to 6.31 million, (+645,000) on the last business day of January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the increased openings, 608,000 were in the private sector. The job [...]

U.S. Industrial Production

The February Industrial production, (IP) report was better than analyst’s expectation, gaining 1.1% month on month, (m/m). This after a disappointing negative 0.3% change in January. On a three month moving average, (3MMA) of IP moved-up 0.4% m/m. On a year on year, (y/y) basis, the IP index was up 4.4%. Overall capacity utilization rose [...]

U.S. Merchant Steel Import Licenses

Total Merchant licenses, (representing 10 HTS codes), year to-date, (YTD) through March 13th totaled 141,412 tons down 40% from last year’s 236,236 tons. Month to-date, there have been a total of 12,790 tons of Merchant license requests, 85% lower than March 2017 volume of 87,253 tons. Figure 1 shows the overall total Merchant licenses from [...]

U.S. Wire Rod Import Licenses

Wire Rod licenses for the month of March through the 13th, totaled 13,810 tons, 93% lower than March 2017. On a YTD basis licensed import volume was 237,763 tons, 52% less than the 495,986 tons YTD 2017. Three HTS codes are includes in this analysis. Year to date, the largest contributor is Bars (<0.55”), which [...]

U.S. Beam Import Licenses

Beam licenses through March 13th totaled just 4,300 tons, down 37,128 tons or 89.6% from last March’s total of 41,428 tons. Year to date, (YTD) beam import license volume through March 13th totaled 68,856 ton, vs. 105,008 tons YTD 2017 and 147,163 tons YTD 2016. Thus far in 2018, wide flange beams accounted for 66%, [...]

U.S. Reinforcing Steel Import Licenses

Rebar licenses year to date, (YTD) through March 13th totaled 166,793 tons, 70% lower than the YTD 2017 level of 559,720 tons. So far in March, only 1,058 tons have been licensed, 97% of it from Mexico. For reference the YTD license volume in 2016 was 509,442. Straight lengths accounted for all but 36 tons [...]