U.S. unemployment fell to 4.9% ahead of the election. That is down by half since 2009, when unemployment peaked at 10%. The U.S. economy added 161,000 jobs in October. This was the 73rd consecutive month of job gains for the U.S. economy. Wages also grew in October by 2.8% compared to a year ago.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged last week, but hinted that it would likely raise rates soon. Most Fed watchers expect a rate increase at the central bank’s next meeting in mid-December.
The U.S. economy grew last quarter. Gross domestic product expanded at an inflation and seasonally adjusted 2.9% annual rate in the third quarter – stronger growth than the second quarter’s pace of 1.4%. The third-quarter acceleration mostly reflected increased exports and a buildup of inventories, while consumer spending increased at a slower rate.
For the first time since summer 2012, the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) posted consecutive months of decline in demand for design services. The September ABI score was 48.4, down from the mark of 49.7 the previous month. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.
The October Purchasing Managers Index registered at 51.9%, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from the previous month’s reading of 51.5%. The New Orders Index registered 52.1%, down 3 percentage points from September’s reading of 55.1%. The Production Index saw an increase of 1.8 percentage points in October to 54.6%.
U.S. raw steel output totaled 1,602,000 net tons last week, up 1.7% from 1,575,000 tons the previous week. Mills operated at an average capacity utilization rate of 67.5%.
For more information, view the “ONI Insight November 2016” below or contact your local sales representative.ONI-Insight-November-2016