The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) “Second Estimate” of 4th Quarter 2015 GDP Increased

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its “second estimate” of 4th quarter 2015 GDP and reports the value of goods and services produced by the nations’ economy less the value of goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes, increased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter. (The “first estimate” came in at 0.7 percent)

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) Rises

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the CFNAI rose to +0.28 in January from -0.34 in December. The index’s three month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) increased to -0.15 in January from -0.30 in December. January’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat below its historical trend.”

This is an encouraging report and though the CFNAI-MA3 remains below trend, it has moved in the right direction in January. We need a healthy rally in this index. You can check out the graph and the description of how the index works at

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity for February Slowed

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity for February reports activity slowed in February. Shipments and the volume of new orders decreased modestly this month. Manufacturing hiring continued to increase at a modest pace, while average wages grew mildly and the average workweek lengthened slightly.

US Raw Steel Production Took a Step Back

US raw steel production took a step back, down 0.2 percent last week from the previous week as mills operated at an ACUR of 72.7 percent. In the corresponding week last year mills operated at an ACUR of 72.4 percent. On the year mills have produced approx. 13,000,000 tons of steel at an ACUR of 69.2 percent down from the approx. 14,000,000 tons produced in the like period last year at an ACUR of 74.4 percent.

The US Department of Commerce Advance Report on Durable Goods, Manufacturer’s Shipments, Inventories and Orders for January 2016

  • New Orders for manufactured durable goods increased 4.9 percent in January following two consecutive monthly decreases.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in January, up two of the last three months, increased 1.9 percent.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in January, down six of the last seven months, decreased 0.1 percent. Primary metals, down twelve consecutive months drove the decrease.

From Wells-Fargo Economics Group:

Recent economic and financial developments have brought talk of recession back into the spotlight. Some potential sources of recession talks are volatility in financial markets, stress in the manufacturing and mining sectors and global factors.”

Not to mention that this “recovery” is around 6 years old and is likely on its last leg. I can’t believe recession has been avoided and quite frankly for those of us involved in the metal working industry it seems we HAVE been in recession for a couple of years now. Too much oil, too much gas, too much iron ore, too much steel capacity, too much exported steel landing on our shores, surplus of agricultural products. In general, commodities have hit a wall.


Trump Wins Nevada

Trump handily wins the Nevada caucus on Tuesday with Rubio and Cruz following far behind. Hanging on are John Kasich and Ben Carson. Unfortunately, I think Ben Carson should suspend his campaign as it is going nowhere. I like Kasich and would like to see him do much better but I don’t see it happening.

Closing Guantanamo

The president on Tuesday put forth another proposal to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It ain’t gonna happen. A bi-partisan Congress several years back, voted to prohibit any of the prisoners from landing on US soil. It’s a done deal and yet he continues to ignore the laws on the books. I have really grown to dislike Obama. He has been bad for the country and bad for the free world. Our enemies love him though they show him as much respect as they would a pile of camel crap.

Last Republican Debates Before Super Tuesday

Republican debates took place in Houston, TX last night (Thursday) with Rubio and Cruz slamming Trump from both sides. Ben Carson had a good showing but there is not enough tread on his tires to take him anywhere. John Kasich also did well and I believe he would be a good nominee but his tires are also bald…no traction.

I am a Trump fan (I want the border secured, Obamacare gone, a strong military, proper care for our Veterans, lower taxes, less regulation, more good paying jobs etc.) but I am growing weary of his rude attacks and childish behavior, his lack of specifics in resolving the huge issues we face. (For instance, last night they nailed him on his healthcare plan. He said he would open the states up to competition. They pressed him on that and instead of saying we will simply mandate pre-existing conditions and give the healthcare business back to free enterprise and get government the hell out of it. But he had no such answer).

Ted Cruz is an eloquent speaker but there is something mousey about him that I cannot seem to get past though he presented himself very well last night. That leaves Rubio, but he is establishment, right? And isn’t the lack of progress by our established politicians the reason Americans are so angry with “business as usual” in Washington? As Trump rightly says “politicians are all talk and no action.”

We cannot keep moving down that same road and both sides of the political aisle are guilty. The current contingent of politicians in Washington are self-serving, greedy, uncaring about our country and her people. It is a sickening state of affairs.

Chris Christie has endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Have a great weekend…. God bless America!

Buy American made products whenever you can, it’s good for you, good for your friends and neighbors and good for our country.

If you are hiring…try to hire a veteran…. they are loyal, disciplined, hardworking…and they deserve our support.

Remember these tidbits as the election cycle grinds on:

  • Fast & Furious-Americans killed by guns supplied to the drug cartels…by the Department of Justice-Eric Holder presiding. The president was clueless. No one held accountable
  • Benghazi: Four Americans killed in an assault described as the result of a viral video. This was proved to be a false narrative. This was in fact, a planned act of terror. The president was clueless. No one even knows where he was as this went down. No one held accountable
  • “At this point, what difference does it make?” Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State
  • The IRS targeting of conservative groups and individuals. No one held accountable, Lois Lerner is on paid vacation and has refused to testify. The president was clueless. No one held accountable
  • Hillary using a private server for correspondence during her term as Secretary of State against the orders of the president. She thought “it would be more convenient…” Though the records were due when she left office, they were not submitted, subpoenas were issued, which she ignored for two years. Finally, she released 30,000 of some 60,000 alleged emails then she deleted the rest of the emails and will NOT turn over the server for investigation.