The U.S. economy most likely gained steam in the second quarter, as massive government aid and vaccinations for COVID-19 fueled travel spending. The possible acceleration would lift the level of GDP above its peak in the 4th quarter of 2019.
The U.S. had its largest monthly gain in jobs since August 2020, adding 943,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9%.
The July Purchasing Managers Index registered at 59.5%, a decrease of 1.1 points from the previous month. This figure still indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 14th consecutive month as any score above 50 represents expansion.
Architecture firms reported another month of strong business conditions in June, with the Architecture Billings Index registering at 57.1. This current pace of billings growth is near the highest levels ever seen in the history of the index.
The Consumer Confidence Index was relatively unchanged in July, standing at 129.1, up from 128.9 in June. The Present Situations Index rose from 159.6 to 160.3.
The Midwest aluminum premium price hit a record high at the end of July. This rapid increase caught the attention of the U.S. Senate and trade associations. The Aluminum Pricing Examination Act was reintroduced and would give the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission the jurisdiction over the market.
The Aluminum Association reported that demand for aluminum in the U.S. and Canada increased by 18.3% during the first five months of 2021 compared to the previous year.
China is actively contemplating adding more curbs to halt environmental pollution which will reduce its steel output and dampen exports. It is also considering imposing more tariffs on steel exports of 10-25% on steel products.
For more information, check out the August 2021 Market Insight Guide below or contact your local sales rep.