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January 2019 Market Insight – Market Indicators

Economic News

President Trump threatened to keep the federal government partly closed for “months or even years” if he does not get the funding for his wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, warning he may declare a national emergency to build it without congressional approval.

The partial shutdown also halted reviews of Section 232 exclusion requests, potentially prolonging a process that has already drawn much criticism from steel market participants.

The U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in December, easing fears of recession amid the stock market turmoil. The unemployment rate rose from a 50-year low of 3.7% to 3.9%.

U.S. employers added the most workers in 10 months as wage gains and labor-force participation both increased. This reflects a robust job market that may still face mounting risks in 2019.

President Trump’s trade war is negatively effecting Americans more than Chinese consumers. Signs of threatened growth have arose across the global economy after tariffs were placed on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of products between the U.S. and China.

Economic Indicators

The November Architecture Billings Index registered 54.7, up compared to the October reading of 50.4. This is the strongest billings growth since January 2018. A score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

The December Purchasing Managers Index registered 54.1%, down 5.2 percentage points from the November reading of 59.3%. The New Orders Index registered 51.1%, a decrease of 11 percentage points from the previous month. The Production Index registered at 54.3%, 6.3 percentage point decrease compared to November.

For more information, download the January 2019 Metalwest Market Insight below or contact your local sales representative.

Metalwest Market Insight - January 2019