Photo: Hessam Bakhtiarzadeh
Today in metals, two steel majors joined forces in India and predictions differed for the US economic recovery.
ArcelorMittal and SAIL Team Up for Auto Plant
ArcelorMittal, and the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), India’s leading steel company, signed a memorandum of understanding to set up an automotive steel manufacturing facility under a joint venture arrangement in India.
The MoU was signed in London Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, and C.S. Verma, Chairman of SAIL. Rakesh Singh, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Steel and Aditya Mittal, ArcelorMittal CFO and CEO ArcelorMittal Europe, were also present.
The MoU is the first step of a process to establish a JV between the two companies. The proposed JV will construct a state-of-the-art cold rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities in India that will offer technologically advanced steel products to India’s growing automotive sector.
MarketWatch: US Recovery Murky
It’s a mystery if the US economy will fire back up and grow at a significant rate this summer.
Not long ago, economists thought US growth could reach nearly 4% in the second quarter after a tepid 0.2% gain in the first three months of the year, a period marked by unusually harsh weather. That would be a carbon copy of the feast-or-famine growth pattern that occurred in 2014.
Many are so sure after an uneven batch of economic reports midway through the second quarter. A poll of analysts compiled by MarketWatch predicts the US will expand at a 3.2% annual rate from April through June — and some have chopped their forecasts to below 3%.
A cluster of fresh reports this week probably won’t give much inkling.
Orders for durable goods such as TVs and trucks that are meant to last a long time are expected to fall again in April. Business spending and investment have softened considerably since last fall.
Sales of new homes nationwide, meanwhile, might creep higher in April, but closings are still historically weak.