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April 2019 Insight Guide: Market Indicators

The U.S. job market bounced back in March after a lackluster performance in February. There were 196,000 jobs added in March, this is the 102nd straight month of job gains. The unemployment rate was at 3.8% for March, unchanged from the previous month.

February’s Architecture Billings Index score was 50.3, down from 55.3 in January. This is still an increase in firm billings as any score above 50 reflects an increase.

The March Purchasing Managers Index registered at 55.3%, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from the February reading. The New Orders Index was at 57.4%, up from the February reading of 55.5%. The Production Index registered 55.8%, a 1-percentage point increase over the previous month.

The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) has appealed its case to tear down President Trump’s Section 232 tariffs and quotas on imported steel. The AIIS plans to take the case to the highest U.S. court if necessary.

The U.S. Court of International Trade on March 25 ruled against the AIIS’ case, which says that Section 232 violates the U.S. Constitution. AIIS immediately appealed the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The number of active oil and gas rigs rose by 19 after two weeks of big losses in the U.S. this week in a sign that U.S. production is still set for increases.

For more information, contact your local sales representative or view the April 2019 Metalwest Insight Guide below.

Metalwest Market Insight - April 2019