March 2017

Oil and Gas Rotary Rig Counts


The total number of operating rigs in the US the week ending March 24th was 809, 652 oil and 155 gas. For oil, this was 75.3% higher year on year (y/y), and 8.3% greater than a month ago. For gas the y/y increase was 68.5%, while the month on month (m/m), increase was 2.6%. In [...]

Oil and Gas Rotary Rig Counts2017-03-30T12:34:48+00:00

Global Crude Steel Production and Capacity Utilization


Referencing data from Worldsteel Association, February global crude steel production totaled 126.6 million tonnes (Mt) (note February was a 29 day month) at a capacity utilization rate (CUR) of 70.3%. This was a 4.1% year on year (y/y), increase and the highest CUR since March 2016. China’s production was 61.2 Mt, a 4.2% increase y/y, [...]

Global Crude Steel Production and Capacity Utilization2017-03-30T12:28:42+00:00

Consumer Confidence


The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Composite index rose 10.8 points in March to reach 125.6 points, the highest reading since December 2000. This was far better than analysts’ expectations and the fourth increase in the last five months.  The Present Situation sub-index score was 143.1 while the Expectation sub-index came-in at 113.8, both scoring their [...]

Consumer Confidence2017-03-30T12:25:31+00:00

U.S. Steel Capacity Utilization


For the week ending March 25th, production reached 1,725,000 tons at a 72.8% capacity utilization, slightly less than the YTD average. For the first twelve weeks of 2017, US steel production averaged 1,738,000 tons per week at an average capacity utilization rate of 73.3%. This was a 72,000 ton per week increase in production over [...]

U.S. Steel Capacity Utilization2017-03-30T12:20:31+00:00

Advanced Durable Goods Orders


New orders for durable goods gained 1.7% in February from January, totaling $235.4 billion. On a 3MMA basis the year on year (y/y), change was a positive 1.1%, while the 3MMA change over 12 months was an encouraging 2.9%. Orders for January were revised upward by 0.3% from 2.0% to 2.3%. Figure 1 shows the [...]

Advanced Durable Goods Orders2017-03-24T20:23:39+00:00

Initial and Continuous Unemployment Claims


Initial claims grew by 15,000 for the week ending March 18th. This more than reversed the prior week’s 6,000 decline however, the trend in initial claims remains favorable.  With 5.6 million job openings (as of January 31st), according to the Job Opening and Labor Turnover (JOLT) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is [...]

Initial and Continuous Unemployment Claims2017-03-24T14:34:56+00:00

Currency Report


The US dollar (USD) continues to advance against a trade weighted basket of currencies known as the Broad Index. The February 2017 Broad index value was 101.33 down 1.4% month on month (m/m) but up 1.9% over 12 months and up 22.0% from a level of 83.04 where it stood five years ago. The FED [...]

Currency Report2017-03-23T15:41:04+00:00

U.S. Housing Starts and Permits


Total housing starts were reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,167,000 for the month of February, on a 3MMA basis, up 8.9% year on year (y/y). Single family housing starts moved-up 4.8%, 3MMA y/y, while multi-family surged 17.7%, 3MMA y/y, over the same time comparison. Table 1 breaks down starts and permit detail for [...]

U.S. Housing Starts and Permits2017-03-23T15:36:12+00:00

Architectural Billings Index


After falling to a disappointing 49.5 in January (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), the national ABI rebounded to score 50.7 in February. In an encouraging trend for future non-residential construction activity, the ABI has been greater than 50 for four of the last five months. The ABI typically leads construction put-in-place [...]

Architectural Billings Index2017-03-23T14:56:42+00:00

Crude Oil Inventories and Pricing


Crude oil inventories have been trending sharply higher since the beginning of the year. Excluding the strategic petroleum reserve, stocks of crude oil recorded 479,012,000 barrels per week at the end of 2016. As of March 10, 2017, this number was up to 528,156,000, a 10.3% increase in 10 weeks. Figure 1 shows a graph [...]

Crude Oil Inventories and Pricing2017-03-21T21:07:27+00:00