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July 13, 2018

In Depth: MSCI Momentum Monitors

“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”

Albert Einstein clearlywasn’t in business. Few entrepreneurs and corporate leaders are as complacent when it comes to predicting how markets might shift – especially these days.

The United States currently is in its second-longest economic expansion on record, but the waters are anything but calm. In the coming months, heightened global trade policy tensions and a Federal Reserve considering a series of interest rate hikes will only add to the turbulence. At the same time, the metals industry, which already has witnessed a number of changes over the last decade, will continue to evolve in response to technological advancements, macroeconomic shifts, additional public policy changes, and global market integration.

“Confronted with the daily deluge of economic and policy announcements, it seems almost impossible to know where things are headed,” said MSCI President and CEO Bob Weidner. “It’s overwhelming, but what we know at MSCI is that access to good data and analysis can help our members predict and plan for the future.”

To help members navigate the choppy waters, the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) and Keybridge Research, an economic and public policy consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., have developed MSCI Momentum Monitors, a series of end market forecasts available exclusively to members. These reports, which are issued quarterly, will help MSCI members identify where their most important metals end markets are in their economic cycle, and when they might experience a turning point.

“MSCI members have expressed a keen interest in gaining access to better forecasting and data, particularly when it comes to emerging trends and major shifts in end-user market demand,” explained Weidner. “In Keybridge, we’ve found a partner that can help us predict those movements. The insight provided through MSCI Momentum Monitors will be incredibly valuable to our members.”

Dr. Robert F. Wescott, founder and president of Keybridge, explained that, in a series of interviews with a dozen MSCI members, his team learned that many companies would appreciate help in deciphering the reams of data available to them. “Many MSCI members don’t have economists on staff. Company leaders are too busy negotiating with suppliers and overseeing operations to step back and interpret the data. Momentum Monitors will offer these companies a big picture analysis of what they can expect from their customer markets over the coming months.”

Dr. Wescott has a long history of providing this type of analysis at the top levels of government and business. He served as special assistant to the president for economic policy at the White House National Economic Council, as chief economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, as deputy division chief in the research department at the International Monetary Fund, and as senior vice president and chief U.S. economist at WEFA Group (now Global Insight). Since founding Keybridge in 2001, he’s advised some of the largest global financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, and industry associations.

The MSCI/Keybridge Research Momentum Monitors will predict shifts in end market momentum with a two-quarter lead time. Each report will explain where to expect end market dips and rises and will consist of a quarterly index, a breakdown of the economic indicators that make up the index, and an end market matrix that tracks the market’s economic cycle. The first reports came online in June and, currently, MSCI is offering a look at seven different markets:

  • Mining, Oil & Gas
  • Fabricated Metals
  • Agricultural Machinery
  • Construction Machinery
  • Automobile & Light Truck
  • Nondefense Aircraft
  • Nonresidential Construction

A sample Momentum Monitor report is available here, and an explanation of how to use it is available here. MSCI members may also contact Chris Marti, vice president of data analytics and forecasting, with questions.

Momentum Monitors are now available to members for $1,000 annually for a single forecast. Click here to learn more.

In addition to the Momentum Monitors, MSCI members also will be able to access Keybridge’s Outlook Reports. These reports will be sold separately and will help members understand the shifts in the metals market, emerging macroeconomic trends, and data driving changes in end-user industries. “The Momentum Monitor will explain what’s going on,” said Keybridge’s Rust, “and the Outlook Report will explain how and, most importantly, why it’s going on.”