March 2019

Consumer Confidence

The Consumer confidence index rolled-back 7.3 points in March according to the Conference Board. The index now stands at 124.1. Despite the decline, the index remains at elevated levels with a positive trend line. On the other-hand, the labor market continues to show impressive gains and workers remain confident about their future.  On a year [...]

U.S. Industrial Production

The February Industrial production landed at 109.7, which was relatively flat MoM at 0.1%. This is encouraging after the change in January, which was downwards of 0.4%. These latest numbers released by the Federal Reserve continue to support the moderate growth within the U.S. economy. Industrial production is a pure measure of output, untainted by [...]

Employment by Industry

In February 2019 there were 150.606 million (M), an increase of 0.21% month on month, (m/m). Figure 1 shows manufacturing and construction employment on the same chart from 2005 to present. Both manufacturing and construction employment are showing growth, construction is growing at a faster rate on a percentage basis. The SA manufacturing sector employed [...]

Global Crude Steel Production and Capacity Utilization

Worldsteel Association (WSA) reports that global crude steel production totaled 146.7 million tonnes (Mt) at a capacity utilization rate, (CUR) of 76.2% in January. On a year on year, (y/y) comparison, global crude steel production in October decreased by 3.79 Mt as the capacity utilization rate remained flat in percentage points. On a three month [...]

ISM Manufacturing Index

The Institute of Supply Management’s Index moved up 1.6 points month on month, (m/m) to 54.2 for February 2019. This continues the trend of the index being greater than 50, (>50 = expansion), now for 30 consecutive months. The new orders sub-index scored a 55.2.  Overall, the manufacturing activity expanded at a slower rate than expected [...]

Construction Put-in-Place, (CPIP)

Total U.S. construction spending continued to perform well in December, especially in the state and local sector. Census Bureau non-seasonally adjusted (NSA), constant dollar CPIP data showed that December’s twelve month total, (12MT) construction expenditures grew by 5.6% year on year (y/y), to $1297.6 billion (B). On a 12MT basis, private expenditures advanced 4.6% y/y, [...]