Effect of the government shutdown on information flow: about half of the data that we at SMU use to evaluate the state of and direction of the steel market is produced by government agencies and is publicly available. The current nature of things was brought home to us on Tuesday when we attempted to access the Department of Commerce Manufacturing, Mining and Construction statistics homepage and found the following message; “Due to the lapse in government funding, census.gov sites, services, and all online survey collection requests will be unavailable until further notice. Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at <usa.gov>.”
For the next couple of weeks as our “leaders” come to terms with their responsibilities we at SMU will take the opportunity to review the existing data in our files and dig deeper into some aspects that we have not covered in detail previously. The piece included below on non residential construction and the effect of the recession on private and government funded projects is an example of what we have in mind.
As far as an immediate effect on the steel industry is concerned we believe the shutdown will have little effect except that trade case activity will be on hold. In the longer term the inevitable effect of this fiasco on consumer confidence will depress consumer spending, GDP and consequent steel consumption.
Peter WrightRead more from Peter Wright
Latest in Economy
Metalformers’ outlook brightens in February: PMA
Metalformers expressed increased optimism about business activity this month, according to the February 2024 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.
AISI explains new PM2.5 air-quality regulation’s impact on steel
The US already had strict regulations on air-quality standards for particulate matter, but they are going to get even tighter.
Architecture Billings Index remains soft in January
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reading from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Deltek showed a slight uptick in January but continued to signal soft conditions. The index inched up from 45.4 in December to 46.2 in January. While the index has moved higher consecutively each month since October, it remains in contraction territory. […]
Manufacturing remains sluggish in New York state
Manufacturing activity in New York State continued to shrink this month, according to the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Housing starts drop again in January
US housing starts fell for the second consecutive month in January, according to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau.