US Manufacturing Activity and Construction Spending Slows

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It looks as though “U.S. manufacturing activity slowed sharply in January on the back of the biggest drop in new orders in 33 years while construction spending barely rose in December, pointing to some loss of steam in the economy,” reports Reuters.

“Economists largely blamed frigid temperatures for the chill in economic activity and said they expected a rebound in the months ahead. However, they also cautioned that the economy was receiving some payback after a strong performance in the second half of 2013.”

“‘The disappointing data provide further confirmation of a dramatic slowing in economic growth momentum,’ said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.”

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“The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 51.3 last month, its lowest level since May 2013, from 56.5 in December.”

In metal price news for the construction sector…

A 4.3 percent increase made the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI®. The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge settled this week after shifting up 0.2 percent. Following a steady week, prices for the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge closed flat.

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The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines traded sideways last week. The week finished with no movement for US shredded scrap. Chinese H-beam steel remained essentially flat from the previous week. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese rebar closed flat.

The week finished with no movement for Chinese aluminum bar. European 1050 aluminum remained essentially flat from the previous week.

The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.