Steel, Aluminum Shipments Down In U.S., But Up Canada In December
- MSCI’s most recent Metals Activity Report (MAR) showed steel and aluminum shipments declined in the United States and rose in Canada. Specifically, U.S. service center steel shipments in December 2019 decreased by 4.2 percent from December 2018 while shipments of aluminum products decreased by 1.5 percent. Canadian service center steel shipments in December 2019 increased by 0.3 percent from December 2018 while shipments of aluminum products increased by 6.7 percent.
- According to the Federal Reserve, industrial production in the United States declined 0.3 percent in December. Output by manufacturers rose by 0.2 percent and production at mines increased 1.3 percent. Those improvements were offset by a 5.6 percent decline in utilities’ output. Additionally, industrial production was down 0.5 percent for the fourth quarter. Click here to read the full report.
- Sales of passenger vehicles and light trucks saw a decrease of 3.6 percent in Canada in 2019 compared to 2018, the first year-over-year decline in over a decade.
- According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, manufacturing activity has picked up in January in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey region. Manufacturers added more workers and the readings for shipments and new orders improved. Click here to read the full report. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also reported an improvement in its region. Manufacturers in the state reported that business activity edged somewhat higher with 28 percent of respondents reporting that conditions had improved over the month and 23 percent reporting that conditions had worsened. Click here to read the full report.
- There were 8 million jobs open and unfilled in the United States in November 2019, a decline of nearly half a million positions from the month before. In other employment-related news: the number of individuals in the United States who claimed unemployment benefits for the first time fell during the week of January 11. The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits fell during the week of January 14.
- Prices for U.S. imports advanced 0.3 percent in December due to increasing fuel prices. U.S. export prices declined 0.2 percent the same month. Click here to read the full report.
- In other economic news: the U.S. median wage was $936 in the fourth quarter of 2019, a four percent increase from one year earlier; the U.S. The Producer Price Index rose 0.1 percent from November 2019 to December 2019 and 0.4 percent from December 2018 to December 2019; the U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent in from November 2019 to December 2019 and 2.3 percent year-over-year; and the number of new homes under construction in the United States fell 3.9 percent between November 2019 and December 2019, but increased 5.8 percent between December 2018 and December 2019.