March 2018

U.S. SBQ Steel Import Licenses

Total SBQ licenses year to date, (YTD) through March 13th totaled 81,716 tons, down 16% from the YTD 2017 total of 97,035 tons. Thus far in March, 9,202 tons of licenses have been requested, down 74% from the 34,995 tons in March 2017. Figure 1 shows the monthly total SBQ licenses for from April 2017 [...]

Employment by Industry

The economy created 313,000 jobs in February greatly exceeding analysts’ expectations. There were good gains in both construction and manufacturing. The total number of seasonally adjusted (SA), non-farm people employed in the U.S. in February was 148.177 million (M), an increase of 0.21% month on month, (m/m). Over the past 12 months the U.S. economy [...]

Employment: Initial, Continuous Jobless Claims

February seasonally adjusted, (SA) initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 21,000 to 231,000. Despite the increase the total remains near the lowest level in nearly 50 years. The non-seasonally adjusted, (NSA) four week moving average (4WMA) was 216,850, 7.9% lower than for the same period last year. Layoffs are low and hiring statistics continue [...]

U.S. Non-farm Employment Net Job Creation

Total non-seasonally adjusted, (NSA) nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 in February and the December and January figures were revised higher, to 175,000 and 239,000 respectfully. A total of 148,177,000 people were employed in non-farm jobs as the unemployment rate held steady according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) report. Employment growth has averaged [...]

Consumer Credit

Consumer credit continued to climb but the pace of growth has slowed somewhat. Total consumer credit increased by $13.9 billion, (B) in January, well below the consensus estimate of $17.8B. Non-revolving credit advanced by $13.2B or 95% of the gain, while revolving credit moved-up by just $0.7B, its lowest level since July 2103. On a [...]

­­U.S. Steel Capacity Utilization

The total tonnage for the week ending March 3rd was 1,834 million tons, (Mt) at a capacity utilization rate of 78.7%. This was the highest capacity utilization rate since the week of September 20, 2014 and can be attributed to the pending 25% steel tariff proposed by president Trump. For the first nine weeks of [...]

Dodge Momentum Index

The Dodge Momentum Index increased 0.5% to 142.6 in February from the revised January score. On a year on year, (y/y) comparison, the composite index was up 2.0%. The commercial sub-index posted a moderate decrease for the month, while the institutional index recorded a substantial increase for the month. The Dodge Momentum Index is a [...]

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing composite index fell 0.4 point month on month, (m/m) to a still very strong 59.5 in February. The indexes is off strong start in 2018, up two points from its 2017 fourth quarter average. The strong advance in the index points to continued growth in the nonmanufacturing segment as [...]

The Baltic Dry Index

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), for February tumbled 123 points to 1,125 month on month (m/m), a 10% decline. Changes on a m/m comparison can be exhibit wild swings as was the case in February. Looked at on a three month moving average, (3MMA) comparison the BDI fell 7.7% to 1,309 m/m. On a 3MMA [...]

Currency Report

The dollar Broad Index posted a reading of 94.05 for February, up 0.4% month on month yet still close to its lowest level in two years. The rate of decline has moderated over the past month likely because of the FEDs indication that there will be three and perhaps four interest rate hikes this year. [...]