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January 2020 Insight Guide: Market Indicators

The Economy

The U.S. economy has expanded for a record of 126 straight months as of December2019. Meaning, the U.S. has avoided a recession for an entire decade for the first time ever.

Economists say this is due to the U.S. coming from such a low point at the end of the last decade. Much of the expansion the past ten years was spend recovering from the Great Recession.

The U.S. job market ended 2019 with a disappointing 145,000 jobs added in December. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%.

Economic Indicators

The Architecture Billings Index scored at 51.9 in November 2019. This is the second month of modest growth for the industry.

The Purchasing Managers Index for December 2019 registered at 47.2%, a decrease of 0.9 points from the November reading of 48.1%. This is the lowest reading since June 2009.

The Steel Industry

U.S. steelmakers are hiking sheet prices effective immediately. Nucor Corp lead the hike on January 8 and was quickly followed by ArcelorMittal USA and NLMK USA. West Coast suppliers also followed suit with USS-Posco Industries and California Steel Industries also raising flat prices.

For more information, view the January 2020 Market Insight below or contact your local sales representative.

Metalwest Market Insight - January 2020