Employers added 235,000 jobs in February, a hefty gain that cleared the path for the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate mid-March.
U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly increased in February to the highest level since July 2001 as Americans grew more upbeat about present and future conditions. The Confidence Index increased to 114.8 from a revised 111.6 in January. Present conditions also increased to 133.4, the highest since July 2007, from 130.
The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) declined slightly into negative territory in January, after a strong showing in December. The January ABI score was 49.5, down from a score of 55.6 in the previous month.
The Purchasing Managers Index registered at 57.7%, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the January reading of 56%. The New Orders Index registered at 65.1%, up 4.7 percentage points from January. The Production Index registered at 62.9%, 1.5 percentage points higher than the January reading of 61.4%.
North American service centers’ shipments of steel and aluminum products rose significantly in January, with double-digit increases from December and narrower, but notably, year-over-year from January 2016. Inventory levels also rose slightly.
For more information on the metals market, contact your local sales representative or view the March 2017 ONI Insight Guide below.ONI Insight March 2017