The U.S. economic calendar is busy this week with new reports due out on 4th quarter GDP, housing starts and building permits, consumer confidence, factory orders, personal income & spending, and manufacturing PMI.
U.S. manufacturing numbers have underwhelmed lately as the Federal Reserve reported manufacturing output declined 0.9% in January while new orders for core capital goods (nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft) reportedly declined 0.7% in December. The consensus forecasts are that real (adjusted for inflation) GDP growth slowed to 2.3% in the fourth quarter but that manufacturing PMI remains in growth territory at 56.0 in February. Official Chinese manufacturing PMI numbers are also due out this week. Investors will also be paying close attention to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s semi-annual monetary policy testimony this week. Overseas, the second US-North Korea Summit is scheduled to take place in Vietnam this week, with the Financial Times reporting “The second meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula follows the historic summit in Singapore last June, which produced a vague agreement. The US says North Korea has yet to take firm steps to give up its nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, North Korea wants the US to ease up on sanctions to reward it for freezing nuclear and missile testing and for the partial dismantling of some of its nuclear facilities.” Have a great week and don’t miss next week’s ISRI Market Report for a recap of the week’s key economic, trade, commodity, and scrap market highlights!
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