August 20, 2018

U.S., Canadian Steel And Aluminum Shipments Rise


  • The Metals Service Center Institute announced last week that U.S. service center steel shipments increased 13.3 percent from July 2017 to July 2018 while shipments of aluminum products rose 13.8 percent. Canadian center steel shipments increased 4.7 percent year-over-year while shipments of aluminum products increased jumped five percent.
  • The Canadian economy added 54,100 new jobs in July and the country’s unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent, it’s lowest level in more than four decades and down from six percent in June.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. industrial production rose 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent while utilities’ output declined 0.5 percent and mining production dropped 0.3 percent.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators of the United States rose 0.6 percent in July to 110.7, “suggesting the US economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for the remainder of this year.”
  • Statistics Canada announced last week that manufacturing sales in the country rose 1.1 percent June, beating the 0.9 percent increase analysts had expected. The improvement was driven by a 15.9 percent increase in oil and coal shipments.
  • Manufacturing sales in the United States increased 0.3 percent from May 2018 to June 2018 and 8.2 percent from June 2017 to June 2018. Inventories were up 0.1 percent for the month and four percent year-over-year.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s manufacturing index rose three points to +25.6 in August due to higher levels of shipments and a strong reading for new orders. Click here to read the full report. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s index fell, meanwhile, declining 14 points to +11.9. The new orders index fell 22 points to 9.9. More than 34 percent of the firms reported an increase in new orders, while 24 percent reported a decrease. Click here to read the full report.
  • According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits fell to 212,000 during the week that ended Aug. 11 from 214,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose slightly, but the number of individuals who continued to receive benefits declined to 1.721 million for the week that ended Aug. 4 from 1.76 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also fell.
  • In other economic news: the number of new homes under construction in the United States rose 0.9 percent between June 2018 and July 2018, but fell 1.4 percent between July 2017 and July 2018; labor productivity in the United States expanded 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018; and U.S. small business optimism rose to a record high in July 2018.