MNI Chicago Business Barometer Increased to Highest Level Since January 2015

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer increased in April to its highest level since January 2015. Optimism among firms about business conditions rose for the third month in a row.

The April Chicago report showcased another impressive month with firms reporting solid growth. Rising demand and firm production led to a pick-up in hiring by firms.”

Texas Manufacturing Activity Increased for 10th Consecutive Month

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey and reports Texas manufacturing activity increased for the 10th consecutive month…expectations regarding future business conditions continued to improve, although several six-month-ahead indexes retreated from their March levels.

14 Consecutive Weeks of Gains in Number of Drill Rigs Running in the U.S.

The number of drill rigs running in the United States rose by 10 last week to 857, led by Texas (up 6), marking 14 consecutive weeks of gains. Meanwhile Canadian drilling fell for the eighth week in a row, shedding 19 rigs compared with the previous week. AMM

Manufacturing in the Fifth District Were Upbeat in April

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond released its Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity and reports manufacturers in the Fifth District were upbeat again in April. The index for shipments rose as did the index for new orders, which remained very strong. Looking six months ahead, manufacturing executives remained generally optimistic.

The Midwest Economy Index (MEI) Rose to +0.60 in March from 0+.28 in February

All four broad sectors of nonfarm business activity and all five Seventh Federal District states made positive contributions to the MEI

Rising SBQ Prices

Nucor, Steel Dynamics, Republic Steel and Gerdau have all joined Timken Steel in raising SBQ prices by $40/ton.

Steel Dynamics raised all SBQ prices by $40/ton. Nucor raised hot rolled bar prices $30/ton on bars from 3.000” dia. and below and $40/ton from over 3.000” thru 11.000”. Hot rolled heat treated bar include an additional $10/ton. Price increases will be in addition to the raw material surcharges and any other applicable surcharges. AMM Friday 4/28

Timken Steel has announced a $40/per ton base price increase ($2.00/cwt) on all SBQ products effective with shipments starting June 5, 2017. The increase will not affect those already covered by pricing agreements. AMM


March 2017 Advance Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders

The US Census Bureau Thursday released its March 2017 Advance Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders:

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased 0.7 percent. This increase, up three consecutive months, followed a 2.3 percent February increase.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in March, up four of the last five months, increased 0.2 percent.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in March, up four of the last five months, increased 0.1 percent.
  • Machinery, also up four of the last five months, led the increase.

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Increased at an Annual Rate of 0.7 Percent in the First Quarter of 2017

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 according to the “advance” estimate released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

In the fourth quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 2.1 percent. Today’s estimate (the first of three) is based on incomplete source data and is subject to further revision over the next two months.

This is certainly a disappointing report considering manufacturing is fairly strong, steel capacity utilization is up, steel pricing is up, mining is stronger, automotive is still strong, albeit, weaker.

Now, if we can only get these idiots we have elected to get to work and pursue and enact some real legislation aimed at helping the American people instead of all this partisan bullshit arguing and obstructing the president’s agenda…results in Washington will bring prosperity to the American people. It is time.

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) Moved Ddown to +0.08 in March

Led by slower growth in employment-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to +0.08 in March from +0.27 in February. The index’s three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3), decreased to +0.03 in March from +0.16 in February but remained positive for the fourth consecutive month.

What do the numbers mean? A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.

Periods of economic expansion have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above –0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index above –0.35. Conversely, periods of economic contraction have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 below –0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index below –0.35.

An increasing likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +0.70 more than two years into an economic expansion.

Similarly, a substantial likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +1.00 more than two years into an economic expansion.

Nucor Corp Closes Its Cold Finished Bar Mill in Cartersville, GA

Nucor Corp has closed its cold finished bar mill (4/21) in Cartersville, GA, less than a year and a half after acquiring the operation from Gerdau.

We have made the decision to close our cold finished bar facility in Cartersville, GA and redistribute the assets across our seven other Nucor Cold Finish operations nationwide,” the spokeswoman said. “The decision was made after a careful evaluation of the facility’s long term strategic fit and role in that market.”

US Raw Steel Production Down Last Week

US raw steel production was down 1.4 percent last week as mills operated at an ACUR of 73.6 percent. In the corresponding week last year mills operated at an ACUR of 72.6 percent. On the year mills have produced prox 28,000,000 tons compared to the prox 27,000,000 tons produced in the like period last year.



Trump Tax Plan

On Wednesday Trump rolled out his tax overhaul proposal which aims to reduce the top individual tax rate to 35% from 39.6% and business tax rates from 35% to 15%, this includes Sub-chapter S corporations (pass-through businesses), currently taxed at individual tax rates. This is huge and these moves would give the US economy the kick in the ass it has been lacking since 2008.

The plan would repeal the provision in the tax code which allows individuals to deduct the state and local taxes they pay from their reportable income. This would mostly hurt those residents of high-tax states, such as New York, New Jersey and California. The estate tax and the alternative minimum tax would also be repealed.

What the fuck is wrong with these democrats? Every damned thing Trump tries to do is “a gift to the very wealthy corporations, or the very wealthy”…Really?

Going from 39.6 percent to 35 percent is a gift to the wealthy? What about going from 7 brackets to 3? What about doubling the tax exemption from $12,000 to $24,000? What about repealing the estate tax? As far as I know, anyone who has earned and accumulated wealth of any sort is subject to the death tax. LIES, LIES, LIES…

I heard today that AARP, a left leaning political machine, says the currently proposed health care plan is a “gift to the rich.” Are you kidding me? Where do they get that from? These are very tired, very old liberal talking points which, in reality, hold no water. All these political elites, as they prefer to think of themselves, are as useless as tits on a bull.



Infrastructure X (Keystone & Dakota pipelines) Regulation Reform XX 1 in 2 out
Individual Tax Reform Entitlement Reform
Business Tax Reform Education Reform
Healthcare Reform X rollback begun Veterans Administration Reform
Rebuild our Military Trade Reform
Secure our Borders (The Wall) XX Lead the world from the front XX
Help for the poor Drain the swamp X as we speak
Peace through unmatchable strength Support Israel
Destroy ISIS Extreme Vetting XX
Conservative Supreme Court nominees XX American Jobs XX

I will track these campaign promises and will check them off as each is accomplished adding those I have missed as they become apparent. This is quite an agenda and will be difficult to achieve all in one term but I believe the American people are behind him and know these things need to be done. Now, if he can get our legislators to support him instead of fighting him….


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.

By the way, if you wish to comment on my rants or offer any other insights you may have, you are encouraged to email me.