US Construction Spending Rises… Barely

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US construction spending rose less than expected in May, which could prompt a further downgrading of second-quarter economic growth estimates.

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Construction spending edged up 0.1 percent to an annual rate of $956.1 billion, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. However, April’s construction spending was revised up to show a 0.8 percent rise, taking some of the sting out of the report.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected construction spending to advance 0.5 percent after a previously reported 0.2 percent gain.

The data was the latest to suggest the economy’s rebound from a brutally cold winter could fall short of expectations. Growth contracted at a 2.9 percent annual pace in the first quarter, also weighed down by a slow pace of inventory accumulation by businesses.

A 4.5 percent improvement on the weekly Construction MMI® made European 1050 aluminum the week’s biggest mover, closing at EUR 2,236 ($3,062) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 14,200 ($2,289) per metric ton.

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The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines closed at CNY 970.00 ($156.34) per dry metric ton after a flat week. Prices for US shredded scrap remained constant, closing the week at $370.00 per short ton. Closing at CNY 3,230 ($520.59) per metric ton, Chinese H-beam steel remained unchanged for the week. Chinese rebar remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 3,180 ($512.53) per metric ton.

The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge fell 0.2 percent to $0.53 per mile after rising 1.5 percent the week before. Last week, the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge shifted slightly, rising by 0.1 percent to close at $0.54 per mile. The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge rose 0.1 percent over the past week to $0.52 per mile.

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.

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