January 23, 2023

MAR Shows North American Steel, Aluminum Shipments Fell In December

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 products like MSCI’s Momentum Monitors, and Economic Opportunity and Risk Tracker.

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

  • MSCI’s Metals Activity Report December 2022 showed steel and aluminum activity decreased by single digits in both countries from year ago levels. Specifically, U.S. service center steel shipments decreased by 2.6 percent from December 2021 to December 2022 while shipments of aluminum fell 9.5 percent. Canadian service center steel shipments fell two percent year-over-year while shipments of aluminum products from Canada were down 3.1 percent.
  • Manufacturing sales in Canada were flat between October 2022 and November after rising 2.4 percent in the previous month. Read Statistics Canada’s full report here.
  • The World Bank issued a new forecast last week that concluded there is a high risk the global economy will slip into a recession in 2023 and that developing countries will be hardest hit by a downturn if it comes to pass. Despite the warning, the bank forecasts overall 1.7 percent growth this year and 2.7 percent growth in 2024. The World Bank expects the U.S. economy to expand by just 0.5 percent in 2023. Read the organization’s full report here.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. industrial production fell 0.7 percent in December. Manufacturing output was down 1.3 percent, but the index for utilities jumped 3.8 percent. Mining output was down 0.9 percent.
  • Companies in the S&P 500 are projected to boost capital spending by an estimated six percent in 2023, compared with an estimated 20 percent increase in 2022, according to an analysis from advisory firm Ernst & Young. Read more here.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business small business optimism index dropped 2.1 points to 89.8. The index measures the number of owners who expect better business conditions over the next six months worsened by eight points from November to a net negative 51 percent. Inflation continues to be the single most important issue impacting small businesses.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 190,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended January 16, 2023. That number was down from 205,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell, but the number of people who continued to receive benefits increased. That number rose to 1.647 million during the week that ended January 7, 2023 from 1.63 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell.
  • In other economic news: The U.S. producer price index fell 0.5 percent from November 2022 to December 2022, but increased 6.2 percent for the year; the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.1 percent from November 2022 to December 2022, but was up 6.5 percent on the year; Canada’s CPI fell 0.6 percent from November 2022 to December 2022, but rose 6.3 percent year-over-year; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index, a key gauge of economic growth, fell to -0.05 in October +0.17 in September. Read more here.

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