MSCI: Year Over Year Steel Shipment Declines Continue
- The Metals Service Center Institute announced last week that steel shipments decreased for the seventh consecutive month in the United States and for the eleventh consecutive month in Canada. Specifically, U.S. service center steel shipments in June 2019 decreased 11.4 percent between June 2018 and June 2019 while shipments of aluminum products fell 1.5 percent. Canadian center steel shipments in June 2019 dropped 7.1 percent from June 2018 while shipments of aluminum products declined 5.9 percent.
- According to the Federal Reserve, industrial production in the United States was unchanged in June and declined 1.2 percent in the second quarter. In June, manufacturing output advanced 0.4 percent while output of utilities fell 3.6 percent and mining output rose 0.2 percent.
- Statistics Canada reported last week that factory sales in the country rose by 1.6 percent in May 2019. It was the largest increase in sales since May 2018. Sales in the transportation industry rose 8.1 percent while sales of motor vehicles increase 13.3 percent, the highest month-on-month increase since November 2017.
- The U.S. Department of Labor reported the number of individuals who received unemployment benefits for the first time rose to 216,000 during the week that ended July 13, up from 208,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell, however, as did the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits. That figure fell to 1.686 million during the week that ended July 6 from 1.728 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also rose.
- According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the number of new homes under construction in June 2019 fell 0.9 percent from May 2019 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.253 million and building permits fell 6.1 percent to 1.22 million. Single-family homebuilding increased 3.5 percent to 847,000 units, but multi-family housing starts dropped 9.2 percent to 406,000 units. Housing starts were up 6.1 percent between June 2018 and June 2019.
- In other economic news: the Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the United States fell 0.3 percent in June to 111.5, following no change in May, and a 0.1 percent increase in April; business inventories in the United States rose 0.3 percent from April 2019 to May 2019 and were up 5.3 percent from May of last year while manufacturers’ sales rose 0.1 percent in May and were up 1.5 percent compared to a year ago; and, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported the manufacturing sectors in their regions strengthened in July.