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July 10, 2017

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: U.S. Steel Imports At Highest In Two-And-A-Half Years

  • Steel imports into the United States increased 38.3 percent between June 2016 and 2017 to 3.54 million tons and are now at their highest level since January 2015.
  • The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June while the nation’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent in May. Manufacturers added just 1,000 jobs in June. In other employment news: 248,000 individual filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first during the week that ended July 1, up from 244,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also rose while the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits increased to 1.956 million for the week that ended June 24 from 1.945 million the week before.
  • The Canadian economy added 45,000 jobs in June. The majority of the new jobs, 37,000, were part-time. The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent last month from 6.6 percent in May. The country has added 400,000 in the past year, the most since 1979.
  • The U.S. Commerce Department announced last week that the nation’s trade deficit fell to $46.5 billion in May from $46.6 billion in April. Exports increased by $0.9 billion in May while imports fell $0.2 billion. The U.S. trade deficit was still 13.1 percent higher year-over-year, however.  The manufacturing trade deficit fell to $67.5 billion in May 2017 from $68.4 billion in April 2017.
  • According to Statistics Canada, the Canadian trade deficit rose to $1.1 billion in May from $552 million in April. The reading was more than twice the $530 million that analysts had expected. Imports into Canada rose 2.4 percent in May while exports increased just 1.3 percent.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the United States increased to 57.8 in June from 54.9 in May due to better readings for employment, new orders, and production. The Markit PMI for the United States, meanwhile, fell to 52.0 in June from 52.7 in May.
  • The Markit PMI for Canada fell to 54.7 in June from 55.1 in May due to declines in new orders. 
  • In other economic news: auto sales in the United States fell three percent between June 2016 and June 2017; construction spending in the United States increased 4.5 percent from May 2016 to May 2017; and new orders for manufactured goods fell 0.8 percent from April 2017 to May 2017 while shipments increased 0.1 percent.