U.S. Aluminum Imports Decline
- According to American Metal Market (AMM, subscription required), U.S. imports of aluminum fell 32.6 percent from May 2017 to May 2018. Imports for the first five months of the year were down 5.7 percent from the same period in 2017.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 6.6 million jobs available at the end of May, a figure that was near its all-time high. The Labor Department also announced last week that 214,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the week that ended July 7, down from 232,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also declined while the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits also fell. That reading declined to 1.739 million during the week that ended June 30 from 1.742 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims increased, however. Click here to read the full report.
- The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index fell 0.6 points to 107.2 in June. The share of small business owners who indicated that now is a good time to expand fell five points.
- In other economic news: U.S. consumer prices increased 0.1 percent from May 2018 to June 2018 and 2.9 percent from June 2017 to June 2018; the U.S. Producer Price Index rose 0.3 percent from May to June and 3.4 percent year-over-year; and U.S. wholesale merchant inventories rose 0.6 percent from April 2018 to May 2017 and 5.9 percent from May 2017 to May 2018.