November 21, 2022

U.S. Steel Shipments Were Only Positive Reading In October Metals Activity Report

Connecting the Dots monitors all major economic announcements in the United States and Canada, but MSCI also offers industrial metals industry-specific data products that provide much deeper analysis and insight. Visit MSCI’s website and click on industry data to learn more about our Metals Activity Report (MAR), Momentum Monitors, and Economic Opportunity and Risk Tracker.

Meanwhile, here are the major economic headlines from the last week:

  • According to MSCI’s Metals Activity Report, U.S. service center steel shipments increased 1.7 percent from October 2021 to October 2022 while shipments of aluminum products fell 2.5 percent. Canadian service center steel shipments dropped four percent year-over-year while shipments of aluminum products decreased by 7.9 percent.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. Industrial production decreased 0.1 percent in October. Manufacturing output edged up 0.1 percent, but the index for mining fell 0.4 percent and the index for utilities dropped 1.5 percent. At 104.7 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in October was 3.3 percent above its reading from one year ago.
  • Canadian factory sales were flat between August 2022 to September 2022 due the fact that higher sales in aerospace products and primary metals were cancelled out by lower sales in petroleum and coal products. Excluding vehicles and parts, manufacturing sales were up 0.5 percent. Read the full report here.
  • According to Statistics Canada, Canadian wholesale transactions rose in September due to one of the biggest increases in personal and household goods in more than two years. Specifically, wholesale trade rose 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in September, to C$81.81 billion.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said manufacturing activity grew slightly in its region in November. The general business conditions index rose 14 points to +4.5, its first positive reading since July. The new orders index dropped seven points to -3.3, but the shipments index increased eight points to +8.0. The unfilled orders index fell to -6.8 while the inventories index rose 12 points to +16.5. Read the full report here. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said manufacturing activity in its region declined this month — read that full report here — and so did the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Read that last report here.
  • The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI), a key gauge of future U.S. growth, fell 0.8 percent in October 2022 to 114.9 after declining 0.5 percent in September. The LEI is now down 3.2 percent over the six-month period between April and October 2022, a reversal from its 0.5 percent growth over the previous six months.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor announced 222,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended November 12, 2022. That number was down from 226,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose, however, as did the number of individuals who continued to receive jobless benefits.
  • In other economic news: The number of new homes under construction in the United States fell 4.2 percent from September 2022 to October 2022 and 8.8 percent from October 2021 to October 2022; the number of existing homes sold in the United States fell 5.9 percent from September to October and 28.4 percent year-over-year; Canada’s consumer price index was flat from September 2022 to October 2022, but increased 6.9 percent from October 2021 to October 2022 due to faster price growth for gas and mortgage interest costs.

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