Briefings from the Metals Service Center Institute  North American Manufacturing Advocacy news for 2/4/13:

“A new study by the American Action Forum finds that even with the 2010 health care reform law in place, individual and small group insurance premiums will continue to rise over the next several years.”
AAF concludes, “There is now a widespread agreement that the Affordable Care Act did not materially alter the trajectory of health care costs.”

That’s nice isn’t it?

“According to a poll released by the Pew Research Center, more than half of all Americans believe the federal government is now a threat to their basic rights. Specifically the poll found 53% of adults believe the federal government “threatens” their “personal rights and freedoms.” That figure is up 20 percentage points from a similar poll question asked by ABC News and the Washington Post in 1995.”

That’s nice isn’t it?

“MSCI believes this latest reading clearly shows Americans are skeptical of the more aggressive regulatory stance the federal government has taken over the last several years.”

Question: If more than half of Americans believe these policies are bad for the country, how did this administration maintain control of our government? We must vote people. Your vote DOES count.

The US Commerce Department reported the nation’s GDP contracted at a 0.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012. The reading was below expectations. This is a preliminary reading and will be revised in March and April. This was the worst rate of growth since 2009. The report which was released last Wednesday, showed the US economy expanded 2.2 percent for all of 2012.

According to Statistics Canada, the country’s economy increased in November, beating analyst expectations. A good sign.

Unemployment increased to 7.9 percent last month, though the economy managed to add 157,000 jobs in January.

The manufacturing industry gained 4,000 jobs in January and employment in the sector is up 100,000 in the last year.

The Institute of Supply Management’s purchasing managers index for the US increased from 50.2 in December to 53.1 in January. A good sign.

According to the US Commerce Department, orders for durable goods increased 4.6 percent in December, easily crushing expectations of a 0.7 percent rise. A good sign.

Durable goods orders have increased each of the past four months, a record that has not been reached since the recording mechanism began in 1992.

US Commerce Department also reports consumer spending increased 0.2 percent in December, additionally reporting that construction spending increased 0.9 percent in December and was up 9.2 percent for all of 2012. A good sign.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Midwest Manufacturing Index increased in December and is up 6.2 percent from the same period in 2011.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported that its index of general business activity increased in January from December.

What a wonderful world it would be for business and individuals if the government would only GET OUT OF THE WAY and let the markets operate as they should.

God Bless America