January 2017 ONI Insight: Market Indicators

The U.S. added 156,000 jobs in December 2016 and hourly wages rose 10 cents. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.7% from 4.6% in November.

Gas prices are expected to rise to the highest point since 2014, with the possibility that collectively U.S. drivers could shell out $52 billion more at the pump than they did in 2016.

“The era of falling prices from year to year is likely to be over,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

Consumer confidence climbed to the highest level since August 2001 in December. The confidence index increased to 113.7 from a revised 109.4 in November. According to the Conference Board’s report, American households are expecting a Donald Trump administration to deliver. They are more upbeat about the prospects for the economy, labor market, and their incomes.

The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) registered a small increase in demand for design services. The ABI score for November was 50.6, essentially unchanged from the 50.8 mark the previous month. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

The December Purchasing Managers Index registered at 54.7%, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from 53.2% in November. The New Orders Index registered 60.2%, an increase of 7.2 percentage points from the November reading of 53%. The Production Index was at 60.3% for December, up 4.3 percentage points from November.

U.S. raw steel output totaled an estimated 1,684,000 net tons for the week ended Jan. 7, up 5.8% from the previous week. Mills operated at an average capacity utilization rate of 71%.

For more information on the metals market, contact your local sales rep or view the ONI Insight January 2017 below.