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October 18, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • MSCI announced last week that service center steel shipments fell 10.9 percent in the United States between September 2014 and September 2015 while steel inventories fell 1.6 percent year-over-year. Aluminum shipments and inventories also fell from September 2014 to September 2015, declining 2.8 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. In Canada, steel shipments dropped 8.7 percent year-over-year while inventories fell 3.3 percent. Aluminum shipments also fell, declining 0.2 percent, but inventories rose 4.9 percent between September 2014 and September 2015.
  • Manufacturing sales in Canada fell 0.2 percent between July and August as sales in the petroleum and coal sectors continued to slump. A decline in auto part and aerospace products sales also contributed to the decline. The reading was better than the one percent decline economists had expected.
  • Industrial production in the United States fell 0.2 percent in September as manufacturing output declined 0.1 percent and mining production fell two percent. Utilities output increased, however, rising 1.3 percent. Overall industrial production advanced 1.3 percent in the third quarter.
  • In regional manufacturing news, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported its manufacturing index rose slightly despite the fact that the new orders and production indices declined. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported its “general business conditions index edged up three points to -11.4, marking three straight months of readings below -10, the first such occurrence since 2009.” The new orders and shipments indices both fell, but the inventories index rose.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 255,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time during the week of Oct. 10, down 7,000 from the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, as did the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits. That figured dropped to 2.158 million for the week that ended Oct. 3 from 2.208 million the week before. The number of continuing claims was at its lowest levels since Nov. 4, 2000. The Labor Department also reported last week that, according to its latest survey, there were 5.4 million jobs available in the United States.
  • In other economic news: the Producer Price Index fell 0.5 percent from August to September and was down 1.1 percent from September 2014; the Consumer Price Index fell 0.2 percent from August to September and 4.7 percent year-over-year; and the National Federation of Independent Business’ index of small business optimism increased just 0.2 points as fewer small business owners said they planned to increase hiring.