Last updateThu, 22 Mar 2018 4pm


U.S. Industrial Production Fell 0.1% in January

Industrial production edged down 0.1% in January following four consecutive monthly increases. At 107.2% of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.7% higher in January than it was a year earlier.

Manufacturing output was unchanged in January for a second consecutive month; the index has increased 1.8% over the past 12 months. Major manufacturing industries recorded a broad mix of gains and losses in January. The production of durables moved up 0.2%, and the index for nondurables was unchanged. 

U.S Business Inventories Rose 0.4% in December

Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,902.2 billion, up 0.4% from November 2017 and were up 3.2% from December 2016.

A poll of economists “had forecast inventories, a key component of gross domestic product, rising 0.3% in December,” Reuters  reports. “Manufacturing inventories increased 0.5% in December and stocks at wholesalers rose 0.4%.” 

Global Growth Outlook Reflects Sustained Recovery

Global growth accelerated in 2017, according to a report from the Federal Reserve of Dallas, supported by strengthening labor markets and external demand. Although inflation concerns among advanced countries abated, risks remain and are mostly tilted to the downside. The world is expected to reach 3.1% annual growth in 2018, slipping to 3.0% in 2019. Those forecasts follow on the heels of solid 3.4% year-over-year growth in third quarter 2017.

Concerns are centered on trade policy changes and entrenched protectionist attitudes, uncertainty about shifting U.S. policy and its global spillovers, and the consequences of tighter global financial conditions and asset volatility. High levels of public and private indebtedness, political and geo-political risks, and uncertainty about the strength of the cyclical recovery also weigh on the outlook. 

NY Fed Survey Finds Decline in Expected Inflation

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data just released the January 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations, which shows continued improvement in expectations about households' year-ahead financial situation and credit availability, and robust expected earnings growth. Short- and medium-term inflation expectations fell slightly. One-year ahead earnings growth expectations increased slightly, reaching a new series' high. Median earnings growth uncertainty increased to a level last seen in August 2016. 

December Manufacturing Technology Orders Cap a Good 2017

Orders for manufacturing technology climbed month-to-month and year-to-date in December 2017, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report from the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Orders totaled $447 million for the month, up 6% compared to November. At a cumulative total of $4.5 billion for the year, orders were up 8% compared to the year-end total in 2016.

“The year ended as market growth looks to pick up speed in the first quarter of 2018 with the only constraint to growth being builders ability to deliver product fast enough,” said AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “This has been exacerbated by recent rebounds in both the EU and Chinese manufacturing sectors significantly increasing the demand side of the equation.” 



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