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November 23, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • MSCI announced last week that U.S. service center steel shipments fell 14 percent from October 2014 to October 2015 while steel product inventories fell 4.2 percent. U.S. aluminum product shipments fell 8.1 percent year-over-year and inventories rose 0.9 percent. In Canada, service center shipments of steel products fell 18.3 percent from October 2014 to October 2015 while inventories dropped 12.3 percent. Aluminum product shipments fell 15.5 percent year-over-year in Canada and inventories declined 7.2 percent.
  • U.S. industrial production fell 0.2 percent in October as output at utilities dropped 2.5 percent and mining production fell 1.5 percent. Manufacturing output was one bright spot, increasing 0.4 percent. For the third quarter of 2015, overall industrial production rose at a 2.6 percent annualized rate.
  • Statistics Canada announced last week that Canadian manufacturing sales declined 1.5 percent from August to September. The agency also revised its reading for August; new data showed a 0.6 percent decline in sales from July to August, revised down from a 0.2 percent drop.
  • In a reading that was lower than analysts had predicted, Statistics Canada announced Canadian wholesale sales fell 0.1 percent from August to September. Analysts had predicted a 0.2 percent increase. Inventories also declined, dropping 0.4 percent. According to The Wall Street Journal, the biggest drags on wholesale trade were the auto sector, building materials and personal and household goods.
  • Regional manufacturing readings have been mixed so far in November. The New York Federal Reserve announced the manufacturing survey for its region came in at -10.7 in November. While overall conditions were largely unchanged from October to November, new orders fell and labor market conditions continued to deteriorate. Read the bank’s full report here. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Federal Reserve announced its manufacturing survey for the Midwest increased to +1 in November from -1 in October as durable goods activity increased. Finally, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve announced its manufacturing index increased to +1.9 in November from -4.5 in October as readings for employment, new orders and shipments improved slightly. The Philadelphia bank’s report is available here.   
  • The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that the number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits fell to 217,000 for the week that ended Nov. 14 from 276,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims increased slightly, but the number of Americans who continued to receive federal jobless benefits declined. That figure dropped to 2.175 million for the week that ended Nov. 14 from 2.177 million the week before. In other U.S. employment news: 40 states added jobs in October while nine states lost them and payrolls stayed the same in Delaware.
  • In other economic news: the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.2 percent from September 2015 to October 2015 and was also up 0.2 percent year-over-year; the number of new homes under construction in the United States fell 11 percent from September 2015 to October 2015 and was down 1.8 percent from October 2014 to October 2015; and the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6 percent in October from September.