U.S., Canadian Metals Service Center Shipments Increase
- According to the Metals Service Center Institute, in June metal service center metal shipments continued the modest growth path that they established in May. U.S. service center steel shipments in June 2017 increased 1.1 percent from June 2016 while steel product inventories fell 4.9 percent. U.S. service center shipments of aluminum products in June rose by 10.3 percent from the same month in 2016 while inventories were up 0.2 percent year-over-year. Canadian service center shipments of steel products, meanwhile, increased by five percent from June 2016 and inventories rose 1.6 percent. Canadian service center aluminum shipments in June fell 2.5 percent, however, while aluminum inventories of aluminum products dropped one percent.
- Statistics Canada announced last week that Canadian manufacturing sales rose 1.1 percent from April to May, to $54.6 billion. It was the third monthly increase in a row; economists had expected a 0.8 percent gain. Sales increased in 16 of 21 industries, led by the transportation equipment industry, which experienced a 4.2 percent rise in sales in May.
- The New York Federal Reserve announced last week that its manufacturing index fell to +9.8 in July from +19.8 in June due to lower readings for new orders and shipments. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve also announced that it’s manufacturing reading fell, dropping to +19.5 in July from +27.6 in June, also due to declines in shipments and new orders. The Philadelphia index is now at its lowest level since November.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 233,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the week that ended July 15, down from 248,000 the week before. The four-week moving average also fell while the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits increased. That figure rose to 1.977 million for the week that ended July 8 from 1.949 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also increased.
- In other economic news: the number of new homes under construction in the United States increased 8.3 percent from May 2017 to June 2017 and 5.1 percent from June 2016 to June 2017; the Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the United States increased 0.6 percent in June to 127.8; and 14 U.S. states added jobs in June while employment levels remained the same in the other 36 states.