August 8, 2016

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Global Steel Production Down

  • Steel production among the 66 countries reporting to the World Steel Association fell 2.7 percent from May to June and was down 1.9 percent for the first six months of 2016 from the same period the year before.
  • The U.S. trade deficit rose to $44.5 billion in June 2016 from $41.0 billion the month before. Exports rose $0.6 billion while imports were up $4.2 billion. The goods deficit rose to $66 billion from $62.2 billion while the services surplus improved by $0.3 billion. The overall trade deficit was down 2.3 percent ($5.8 billion) from the June 2015 level.
  • The Canadian trade deficit increased to $3.63 billion Canadian dollars in June (from $3.5 billion in May), a record high and a reading that was well above analysts’ predictions. The report also revealed the “worst quarterly performance for exports since the height of the global financial crisis in 2009,” The Wall Street Journal said.
  • New orders for manufactured goods in the United States fell 1.5 percent from May to June while shipments increased 0.7 percent. The number of unfilled orders, meanwhile, fell 0.8 percent while inventories were down 0.1 percent.
  • The Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the United States rose to 52.9 in July from 51.3 in June on news that output, new orders, and employment all improved. The Institute of Supply Management PMI, meanwhile, fell to 52.6 in July from 53.2 in June.
  • The Markit PMI for Canada increased to 51.9 in July from 51.8 in June due to the fact that production and new orders rose modestly.
  • The U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate held steady from June to July at 4.9 percent. Manufacturers added 9,000 jobs in July. In other jobs news: the number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment insurance benefits rose to 269,000 for the week that ended July 30 from 266,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims increased to 260,250 from 256,500 the week before. The number of individuals who continued to file for benefits fell to 2.138 million for the week that ended July 23 from 2.144 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose, however.
  • The Canadian economy (lost 31,200 net jobs in July and the unemployment rate rose to 6.9 percent from 6.8 percent in June. It was the biggest monthly jobs loss in five years. Full-time employment declined 71,400 while the number of part-time jobs increased by 40,200. So far, Canada has added an average of 3,000 jobs each month this year.
  • In other economic news: personal incomes in the United States rose 0.2 percent from May 2016 to June 2016; auto sales in Canada fell 1.6 percent in May; auto sales in the United States increased 0.7 percent in July; U.S. construction spending fell 0.6 percent between June 2016 and May 2016, but was up 0.3 percent between June 2015 and June 2016.