March 20, 2023

Manufacturing Orders Up In Canada While U.S. Industry Struggles

Connecting the Dots monitors all major economic announcements in the United States and Canada, but MSCI also offers industrial metals industry-specific data products that provide much deeper analysis and insight. Visit MSCI’s website and click on industry data to learn more about our Economic Pulse, Metals Activity Report, and Momentum Monitors.

Meanwhile, here are the major economic headlines from the last week:

  • Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales rose 4.1 percent in January due mostly to gains in motor vehicle and petroleum and coal products sales. Motor vehicle sales rose for the third consecutive month, up 13.4 percent at their the highest level since July 2020. Sales of the petroleum and coal products industry increased 10.1 percent in January. Overall, higher sales were recorded in 16 of 21 industries. Read more here.
  • The Federal Reserve announced last week that U.S. industrial production was unchanged in February. Manufacturing output edged up 0.1 percent, the index for mining fell 0.6 percent, and the index for utilities rose 0.5 percent. At 102.6 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in February was 0.2 percent below its level from the same time in 2022. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced the manufacturing sector in its region was softer in March (read that report here while the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported the same for its region.
  • The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the United States fell 0.3 percent in February 2023 to 110.0. It was the reading’s eleventh straight decline. The LEI is down 3.6 percent over the six-month period between August 2022 and February 2023, a steeper rate of decline than its three percent contraction over the previous six months and meaning the index continues to point to risk of recession in the U.S. economy. Read more here.
  • Prices for U.S. imports edged down 0.1 percent in February, after declining 0.4 percent in January, as lower fuel prices in February more than offset higher nonfuel prices. U.S. export prices increased 0.2 percent in February following a 0.5 percent advance the previous month. Read the full report here.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 192,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time during the week that ended March 11, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week’s level. The four-week moving average was 196,500, a decline of 750 from the previous week. During the week that ended March 4, 1.684 million people continued to receive jobless benefits, a drop of 29,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also fell.
  • In other economic news: the number of new homes under construction in the United States increased 9.8 percent between January 2023 and February 2023, but was still down 18.4 percent from the year before; the U.S. producer price index declined 0.1 percent from January 2023 to February 2023, but rose 4.6 percent from February 2022 to February 2023; and the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.4 percent from January 2023 to February 2023 and six percent year-over-year.

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