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October 2019 Insight: Market Indicators

Economy

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. contracted for the second month in a row in September, falling to its lowest level in 10 years. The Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index dropped to 47.8 last month.

U.S. job growth increased in September, with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.5%; payrolls increased by 136,000 jobs.

Indicators

The Architecture Billings Index dropped to 47.2 in August compared to July’s reading of 50.1. This indicates a decrease in firm billings as any score below 50 reflects a decline.

The Purchasing Managers Index registered 47.8% in September, down 1.3 points from August. The New Orders Index registered at 47.3%, up 0.1 points from the previous month. The Production Index registered at 47.3%, a 2.2-point decrease compared to August.

Steel Industry

The U.S. steel industry has seen weak activity this year. However, in August Trump said that the industry is “thriving” under his administration. While reviving the steel sector was a key part in Trump’s presidential campaign, the 25% tariff on U.S. steel imports hasn’t seemed to help. Steel production has risen, but demand is low. Prices have also fallen.

You can read more about the impact of the tariffs here.

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

Metalwest Market Insight - October 2019