Steel Shipments Down In U.S., Canada While Aluminum Shipments Mixed
- The Metals Service Center Institute announced last week that U.S. service center steel shipments in February 2019 fell 6.2 percent from February 2018 while shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service centers decreased by 2.7 percent. Canadian center steel shipments in February 2019, meanwhile, dropped 7.7 percent from February 2018 while aluminum shipments rose increased 7.3 percent.
- Industrial production in the United States rose 0.1 percent in February after decreasing 0.4 percent in January. Manufacturing production fell 0.4 percent while utilities rose 3.7 percent and the index for mining moved up 0.3 percent.
- Statistics Canada announced last week that manufacturing sales in the country increased one percent from December 2018 to January 2019 due to higher sales of food and electrical equipment, appliance, and component industries.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced last week that its manufacturing index fell five points in March to +3.7 due to the fact that shipments and new orders increased “only marginally.”
- According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for U.S. imports rose 0.6 percent in February. U.S. export prices rose by the same amount.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the week of March 9, 229,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time ever, up from 223,000 first-time claims the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell, however, while the number of individuals who continued to receive jobless benefits increased. That figure rose to 1.776 million for the week that ended March 2, up from 1.758 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell. In other employment-related news: there were 7.6 million jobs open in the United States at the end of January 2019.
- In other economic news: the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.2 percent from January 2019 to February 2019 and 1.5 percent from February 2018 to February 2019; the U.S. producer price index rose 0.1 percent from January 2019 to February 2019 and 1.9 percent from February 2018 to February 2019; U.S. construction spending rose 1.3 percent between December 2018 and January 2019, but just 0.3 percent between January 2018 and January 2019; sales of new homes in the United States fell 6.9 percent between December and January and 4.1 percent year-over-year.