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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 15, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 15, 2017:

Predicted: 246,000
Actual: 233,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (revised): 248,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 243,750
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Leading Economic Index for June 2017

The Conference Board® released its Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for June 2017 this morning:

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Index for June: 127.8 (The baseline 100 score is associated with 2010 data.)

Predicted: +0.4
Actual: +0.6%

  • Previous Month: +0.2 (revised.)

  • Two Months Previous: +0.2

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The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change for the index.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

The LEI is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns:

  1. The Standard + Poor's 500 Index

  2. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance

  3. Building permits for new private housing

  4. The interest rate spread between the yield on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury Note and Federal Funds

  5. ISM® Index of New Orders

  6. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials

  7. Manufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders

  8. Average weekly manufacturing hours

  9. Average consumer expectations for business conditions

  10. Leading Credit Index™

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Leading Economic Index (LEI) for June 2017
Leading Economic Index (LEI) for June 2017

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From Today's Report:

"...'The U.S. LEI rose sharply in June, pointing to continued growth in the U.S. economy and perhaps even a moderate improvement in GDP growth in the second half of the year,' said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. 'The broad-based gain in the U.S. LEI was led by a large contribution from housing permits, which improved after several months of weakness.'..."


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Housing Starts During June 2017

The U.S. Commerce Department this morning released its Housing Starts report for June 2017:

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Housing Starts:
Predicted: 1,170,000
Actual: 1,215,000

Change From Previous Month: +8.3%
Change From One Year Previous: +2.1%

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Building Permits:
Predicted: 1,206,000
Actual: 1,254,000

Change From Previous Month: +7.4%
Change From One Year Previous: +5.1%

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Housing Starts: The top, yellow-highlighted figure is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in the United States for the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the United States,or about the American construction industry in general, then you should pay attention to the monthly Housing Starts report. This report also offers insight into specific types of consumer spending: when housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would purchase for a new home (large appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise --  and vice versa.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).

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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 14, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 14, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -4,700,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +1,800,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 490,600,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2017

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2017:

Import Prices
Predicted: -0.2%
Actual: -0.2%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +1.5%

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Export Prices
Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: -0.2%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +0.6%

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The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.

Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


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Friday, July 14, 2017

Industrial Production + Manufacturing + Capacity Utilization for June 2017

The Industrial Production, Manufacturing and Capacity Utilization numbers for June 2017 were released by the Federal Reserve this morning:

Industrial Production:
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.4%

Manufacturing:
Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in manufacturing, and physical output from mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States.

Capacity Utilization Rate:
Predicted: 76.8%
Actual: 76.6

The Capacity Utilization Rate represents the use of available resources at mining operations, utility plants and factories for the entire United States last month.

The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

 

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U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for June 2017

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for June 2017:

Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: -0.2%

The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable and non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food and beverage services.

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Previous Month (revised): -0.1%

Estimated Retail Sales During February: $473,500,000,000

Change from 12 Months Previous: +2.8%

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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2017

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2017:

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Predicted: +0.1%
Actual: 0.0% (No Change)

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.6%)

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Below is the CPI when food and energy are removed, also known as core CPI:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

(Change from 12 months previous: +1.7%)

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The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent the seasonally adjusted, month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)
Click here to view the full Labor Department report.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for June 2017

The Producer Price Index - Final Demand (PPI-FD) for June 2017 was released this morning:

Predicted: 0.0%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +2.0%

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Below is the PPI-FD when food and energy are removed:

Predicted: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%

Change from 12 months previous: +1.9%

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The above, yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in prices received by domestic producers of goods and services, for goods, services and construction in the United States, for final demand.

Final Demand = personal consumption (consumers), exports, government purchases and capital investment.

The PPI-FD is released by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 8, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 8, 2017:

Predicted: 246,000
Actual: 247,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (revised): 250,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 245,750
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of July 7, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on July 7, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -7,600,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +4,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 495,400,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for June 2017

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for June 2017:

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Predicted: 104.5
Actual: 103.6

  • Change from Previous Month: -0.8612%.
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +9.6296%

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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - June 2017
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - June 2017
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From today's report:

"...OPTIMISM INDEX

The Index of Small Business Optimism fell 0.9 points to 103.6, but
sustained the surge in optimism that started the day after the election. The Index peaked at 105.9 in January and has dropped 2.3 points to date, no doubt in part due to the mess in Washington, D.C. Four of the 10 Index components posted a gain, five declined, and one was unchanged.
Progress is being made, but poorly communicated, and the biggest issues, healthcare and tax reform remain stuck in the bowels of Washington politics. Economic growth in the first half of this year will be about the same as we have experienced for the past three or four years, no real progress. There isn’t much euphoria in the outlook for the second half of the year.

LABOR MARKETS

Small business owners reported an adjusted average employment change per firm of negative 0.04 workers per firm over the past few months, basically zero. This followed one of the best readings since 2008 posted in May. Ten percent (down 5 points) reported increasing employment an average of 3.4 workers per firm and 11 percent (up 2 points) reported reducing employment an average of 2.1 workers per firm (seasonally adjusted). Fifty-four percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 5 points), but 46 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fifteen percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (down 4 points), third on the list of important problems behind taxes and regulatory costs. Thirty percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 4 points, but historically very high. A seasonally adjusted net 15 percent plan to create new jobs, down 3 points.

CREDIT MARKETS

Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, up 1 point and historically very low. Twenty-seven percent reported all credit needs met (down 4 points) and 54 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan, up 3 points. The reduction in the percent not having their credit needs satisfied moved to the “don’t want a loan” category. Including those who did not answer the question, 69 percent of owners have no interest in borrowing, up 3 points. Only 1 percent reported that financing was their top business problem compared to 22 percent citing taxes, 19 percent citing regulations and red tape, and 15 percent the availability of qualified labor. Weak sales garnered 10 percent of the vote. Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis
(down 1 point). Overall, loan demand remains historically weak, even with cheap money. The net percent of owners expecting credit conditions to ease in the coming months improved 1 point to a net negative 3 percent..
."

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  • Small business survey questions can be found at the end of today's report.
  • The baseline "100" score is associated with 1986 survey data.
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The previous month's Small Business Optimism Index was 104.5.

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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) During May 2017

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) during May 2017 was released by the Labor Department this morning:

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Job Openings

Predicted: 5,975,000
Actual:    5,666,000

  • Previous Month (revised): 5,967,000

  • One Year Previous: 5,582,000

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Hires: 5,472,000

Total Separations: 5,259,000

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The above, yellow-highlighted percentage represents the estimated number of job openings in the United States during the indicated month.  The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Here's how the Labor Department defines Total Separations:

"Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm."

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Friday, July 07, 2017

Employment Situation Report for June 2017

The Employment Situation Report for June 2017 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +170,000
Actual: +222,000


U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Predicted: 4.3%
Actual: 4.4%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 8.6%
Previous Reading: 8.4%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1526%

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.8%
Previous Reading (revised): 62.7%

Average Workweek
Predicted: 34.4 hours
Actual: 34.5 hours

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money and b) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From today's report:

"...In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.25 [+0.1526%]. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5%. In June, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $22.03 [+0.1819%].


The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised up from +174,000 to +207,000, and the change for May was revised up from +138,000 to +152,000. With these revisions, employment
gains in April and May combined were 47,000 more than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. 
Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 194,000..." [Establishment Survey Data]
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 * =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:


"Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for June 2017

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) released their Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI®) for June 2017:

Predicted: 56.5%
Actual: 57.4%

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The NMI is a reliable barometer of the U.S. services sector; above 50% implies expansion, while a reading below 50% implies that the services sector contracted.

Service categories include: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing + Hunting; Mining; Utilities; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation + Warehousing; Information; Finance + Insurance; Real Estate, Rental + Leasing; Professional, Scientific + Technical Services; Management of Companies + Support Services; Educational Services; Health Care + Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment + Recreation; Accommodation + Food Services; Public Administration; and Other Services (services such as Equipment + Machinery Repairing; Promoting or Administering Religious Activities; Grantmaking; Advocacy; and Providing Dry-Cleaning + Laundry Services, Personal Care Services, Death Care Services, Pet Care Services, Photofinishing Services, Temporary Parking Services, and Dating Services).

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The previous month's NMI reading was 56.9%.

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Here's a sampling of comments from survey participants:

  •     "Labor continues to be constrained in the construction industry, driving cost increases. Regional unemployment rate of 2.7 percent is making hiring difficult on all phases of the construction supply chain."
     (Construction)

  •     "Off to a very strong start — 2017 YTD results above 2016 actual and 2017 target. Expect trend to continue. Very positive outlook for our business."
     (Finance and Insurance)

  •     "We continue to struggle with the unknowns surrounding Obamacare, whether it will be repealed, or replaced, and if replaced what does it mean for our health services business, as well as our health plans business." (Health Care and Social Assistance)

  •     "Activity level continues to climb in the oil and gas sector with supply in certain spend categories continuing to tighten."
     (Mining)

  •     "June has been quite a busy month in terms of internal food activity. Seasonal increases in beef and poultry overall. Produce has remained steady with some early summer items coming down in price as product moves from Mexico to California growing regions. Dairy slightly up due to summer season cream production increase."
     (Accommodation and Food Services)

  •     "General overall optimism in economy. Still job growth issues with mismatch in available labor pool and jobs available."
     (Professional, Scientific and Technical Services)

  •     "Activity is increasing due to full budget appropriations."
     (Public Administration)

  •     "Overall business is trending up and we have a positive outlook for 2017."
     (Retail Trade)

  •     "Several positive signals as we approach [the] third quarter."
     (Wholesale Trade)

Click here to view the complete ISM report


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of June 30, 2017

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on June 30, 2017 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -6,300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +9,200,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 502,900,000 Barrels

Diminishing crude oil inventories often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of July 1, 2017

Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on July 1, 2017:

Predicted: 244,000
Actual: 248,000

The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (unrevised): 244,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 243,000
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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

U.S. Factory Orders During May 2017

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders -- also known as Factory Orders -- for May 2017:

Predicted: -0.5%
Actual: -0.8%

The yellow-highlighted percentage is the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods made by from U.S. manufacturers. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

Previous Month (revised): -0.3%.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.

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Monday, July 03, 2017

Construction Spending During May 2017

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau -- which is part of the Commerce Department -- released its Construction Spending report for May 2017:

Predicted: +0.5%
Actual: 0.0%

The yellow-highlighted percentage represents the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Month (revised): -0.7%.
  • Change from 12 months previous: +4.5%.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report

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ISM Manufacturing Index for June 2017

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) released their Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI®) for June 2017:

Predicted: 55.1%
Actual: 57.8%

Every month, the ISM surveys purchasing and supply executives at hundreds of companies across the country who are involved in manufacturing in some form. The resulting index is watched closely by academics, economists and investors because manufacturing accounts for about 12% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The PMI is a reliable barometer of U.S. manufacturing: A PMI above 50% implies that U.S. manufacturing expanded during the month specified, while a reading below 50% implies that the made-in-the-USA sector contracted.

The previous month's PMI reading was 54.9%.

From Today's Report:

"...Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June, and the overall economy grew for the 97th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®..."

The following is a sampling of quotes from a diverse pool of U.S. manufacturers:



  •      "Overall, business is strong. We are seeing price increases for packaging and handling materials as well as some MRO supplies"
     (Plastics and Rubber Products)
  •     "Overall, demand is up 5-7 percent and expected to continue through the end of the year, at least."
     (Transportation Equipment)
     
  •     "Demand is picking up; meeting budget expectations."
     (Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components)
  •     "Business is still very robust. Have continued to hire to match increased demand."
     (Computer and Electronic Products)
     
  •     "Business [is] steady; not great, but good and fairly solid."
     (Furniture and Related Products)
     
  •     "Business globally continues to show improvement."
     (Chemical Products)
  •     "Environmental regulations have strong effects on our business. We continue to watch for any changes as a result of the new administration."
     (Paper Products)
     
  •     "Dry weather helping demand."
     (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
     
  •     "International business outside North America on the upswing."
     (Machinery)
  •     "Metal pricing continues to drag down our profit margins, but we are very busy quoting new business, so our customers have a good outlook on the rest of the year."
     (Fabricated Metal Products)
     
  •     "Business is strong both domestically and internationally. Supplier deliveries are quick domestically, international supply chain is slowing. We are in a hiring mode."
     (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Products)

Click here to view the complete ISM report


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