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August 2019 Insight: Market Indicators

Economic News

U.S. employers added 164,000 jobs in July, as the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. This is a little lower than the 165,000 jobs analysts expected.

The Architecture Billings Index score for June as 49.1, down from the 50.2 reading in May. Any score below 50 indicates a decrease in billings.

The July Purchasing Managers Index registered at 51.2%, a decrease of 0.5 points from the June reading. The New Orders Index registered 50.8%, up from the June reading of 50%. The Production Index registered at 50.8%, a decrease from the June reading of 54.1%.

China allowed its currency to fall to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in 11 years and suspended purchases of U.S. farm goods earlier this week. Following the news, the Trump administration branded China a “currency manipulator.” This could signal a threat of a destabilizing currency war that would infect the global financial system.

Steel Industry News

The U.S. steel industry views the U.S. Department of Treasury’s move to designate China as a currency as “welcome news,” according to American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Thomas Gibson. The AISI has long advocated for the U.S. government to take action in regards to currency manipulation.

Global crude steel production reached 925.1 million tons for the first half of 2019, marking a 4.6% increase compared to the same period in 2018. U.S. production reached 7.3 million tons in June, up 3.1% year-over-year.

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

Metalwest Market Insight - August 2019