August 2021 Market Insight Guide

August 2021 Market Insight Guide

Economic News

The U.S. economy most likely gained steam in the second quarter, as massive government aid and vaccinations for COVID-19 fueled travel spending. The possible acceleration would lift the level of GDP above its peak in the 4th quarter of 2019.

The U.S. had its largest monthly gain in jobs since August 2020, adding 943,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9%.

Economic Indicators

The July Purchasing Managers Index registered at 59.5%, a decrease of 1.1 points from the previous month. This figure still indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 14th consecutive month as any score above 50 represents expansion.

Architecture firms reported another month of strong business conditions in June, with the Architecture Billings Index registering at 57.1. This current pace of billings growth is near the highest levels ever seen in the history of the index.

The Consumer Confidence Index was relatively unchanged in July, standing at 129.1, up from 128.9 in June. The Present Situations Index rose from 159.6 to 160.3.

Industry News

The Midwest aluminum premium price hit a record high at the end of July. This rapid increase caught the attention of the U.S. Senate and trade associations. The Aluminum Pricing Examination Act was reintroduced and would give the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission the jurisdiction over the market.

The Aluminum Association reported that demand for aluminum in the U.S. and Canada increased by 18.3% during the first five months of 2021 compared to the previous year.

China is actively contemplating adding more curbs to halt environmental pollution which will reduce its steel output and dampen exports. It is also considering imposing more tariffs on steel exports of 10-25% on steel products.

For more information, check out the August 2021 Market Insight Guide below or contact your local sales rep.

Metalwest Market Insight - August 2021
July 2021 Market Insight

July 2021 Market Insight

Economic News

The U.S. economy grew at a rate of 6.4% in the first three months of 2021. Economists believe this may be the strongest year for the economy in about seven decades. They also believe the growth this quarter will be enough to push GDP output above the previous peak reached at the end of 2019.

For the sixth straight month, the U.S. economy added back jobs. In June, the economy added back 850,000 payrolls as the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.9%. The biggest payroll gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality industries as more and more Americans get vaccinated and start to travel.

Economic Indicators

The June Purchasing Managers Index registered at 60.6%, a decrease of 0.6 points from May’s reading. However, this still indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 13th consecutive month, as any score above 50 indicates expansion.

The Architectural Billings Index for May scored 58.5, one of the highest scores ever recorded. A score above 50 indicates an increase in design billings.

Consumer Confidence improved in June with the index standing at 127.3, up from May’s revised reading of 120.0. The Present Situation Index also rose from the previous month to 157.7.

Industry News

According to the International Institute, total global aluminum production rose to 5.74 million metric tons in May. This total marked the highest level and a rise of just 6% compared to this time last year. This resulted in a 588,000 ton deficit year-to-date compared to a 1 million ton + surplus reported last year.

However, rising global output alone could be enough to cap further aluminum price hikes this year as many of the major economies get close to pre-pandemic levels of consumption. This year’s primary metal deficit could reverse towards the end of the year.

For more information, contact your local sales rep or view the July 2021 Market Insight Guide below.

Metalwest Market Insight - July 2021
June 2021 Market Insight

June 2021 Market Insight

Economic News

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions, said the U.S. economy increased at a somewhat faster rate from early April to late May. However, it still described the pace of economic growth as moderate. The Fed said expanded vaccination rates had the most notable effects in consumer spending, as increased travel and restaurant spending supplemented ongoing strength in other categories.

The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May, double April’s disappointing total, but still lower than the estimated 675,000. The unemployment rate decreased to 5.8%, from 6.1% last month.

Economic Indicators

The May Purchasing Managers Index registered at 61.2%, up 0.5 points from April. This indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 12th consecutive month (a score above 50 indicates expansion). The New Orders Index registered at 67%, up from the April reading of 64.3%. The Production Index registered at 58.5%, down 4 points from the previous month.

The Architectural Billings Index registered at 57.9 for April. This is the highest score since prior to the Great Recession, indicating that a majority of architecture firms saw their billings increase.

Consumer confidence held steady in May with the Consumer Confidence Index registering at 117.2, down marginally from April.

Industry News

U.S. businesses are calling on President Biden to drop the 25% import duties, arguing that for some products, U.S. businesses are paying 40% more for similar steel compared to European counterparts. Europe is hopeful the Biden administration will relax the 25% tariffs on European steel. However, according to MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns, the tariffs probably aren’t going away anytime soon.

We are excited to announce the creation of NIM Group, the new parent organization for each of our brands, Norfolk Iron, Metalwest, and Cd’A Metals. You can read more about it here.

For more information, check out the June 2021 Market Insight Guide below or contact your local sales rep.

Metalwest Market Insight - June 2021