March 2, 2020

Global Crude Steel Production Rose In January Due To Rise In Chinese Output


  • According to FastMarketsAMM (subscription required), global crude steel production rose 2.1 percent from January 2019 to January 2020 due mostly to a 7.2 percent increase in Chinese steel production. Production declined in Canada (-6.5 percent), Mexico (-15.9 percent), the European Union (-12.0 percent), India (-3.2 percent), South Korea (-8.0 percent), and Taiwan (-14.6 percent), but rose in Japan (+1.3 percent) and the United States (+2.5 percent).
  • The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.1 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2019, the same rate it expanded in the third quarter. The U.S. Commerce Department said the report reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment. In related news: the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index, which gauges future economic growth, rose to -0.25 in January, up from -0.51 in December.
  • According to Statistics Canada, economic growth in the country slowed to a 0.3 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter to 2019, its lowest quarterly rate in three years. The agency also revised the annualized growth rate for the third quarter from 1.3 percent to 1.1 percent. Analysts said worries about trade and the coronavirus will continue to be an issue in early 2020.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond announced that manufacturing activity in the Central Atlantic region softened in February. The bank’s composite index fell from +20 in January to -2 in February due to declines in shipments, new orders, and employment. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, meanwhile, said it manufacturing reading reached positive territory for the first time in eight months due to the fact that manufacturers have higher expectations for future activity and to enhanced activity at both durable and non-durable goods plants, particularly food and transportation equipment producers.
  • In other economic news: wholesale sales in Canada Statistics rose 0.9 percent to $63.9 billion in December due to a 1.9 percent increase in sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector; new light vehicle sales in Canada totaled 109,616 units in January, compared with 108,774 units in January 2019; personal income increased 0.6 percent in the United States in in January while personal consumption expenditures 0.2 percent; and sales of new homes in the United States rose 7.9 percent between December 2019 and January 2020 and 18.6 percent between January 2019 and January 2020.