Steel Products

Economist Alan Beaulieu to Speak at SMU Steel Summit

Written by Brett Linton

We’re in for a good year ahead, says popular economist Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics, who will be a keynote speaker during Steel Market Update’s 2017 Steel Summit Aug. 28-30 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.

Previewing his remarks, ITR forecasts another six months of accelerating economic expansion for the U.S., followed by six more months of somewhat slower growth. “Use your rates-of-change and leading indicators to determine when your specific business will be impacted, and move forward with confidence knowing what is coming,” he recommends.

New orders for nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft, experienced a steeper-than-normal increase from April to May at 3.38 percent. The May 2017 number was 6.9 percent ahead of the May 2016 figure, making it the highest year-over-year growth rate in about five years. “May 2017 was a very good month both on a month-to-month basis and on a year-over-year basis,” Beaulieu says. “The rates-of-change signature for new orders remains positive, and the outlook remains quite encouraging.”

New orders for U.S. aircraft and parts increased 8.42 percent in May, but the year-over-year growth rate for May is 41.4 percent below May 2016. “This is an industry where near-term pessimism is warranted,” Beaulieu says.

Overall, total new orders for manufacturing in the U.S. experienced a strong 6.0 percent year-over-year increase through May. “Expect more good news in U.S. manufacturing through the rest of this year as the demand, as indicated by the new orders trends, stays healthy in most sectors,” Beaulieu says.

Stay positive, and don’t believe everything you read, he adds. “I have read a couple of pieces of economic ‘news’ lately that I found disturbing in that they cast a lot of doubt and uncertainty onto the health of the U.S. economy. My concern is that readers of those publications will lose confidence in their ability to grow and, by their own decisions, fulfill the ‘troubled economy’ prophecy.”

Be sure to attend the SMU Steel Summit Conference 2017 to get more detail on Beaulieu’s forecast for the economy and the steel sector and has he moved the dates of his forecast of a mild recession.

Below is a video of Alan Beaulieu from last year’s SMU Steel Summit Conference where he did an exceptional job of forecasting 2017…

Brett Linton

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