Employers added 263,000 jobs in September, down from 315,000 in August. This is the smallest job gain since April. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.5%, matching a half-century low.
The U.S. economy shrank at a 0.6% annual rate from April through June, unchanged from the previous second-quarter estimate. This marked the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction.
August’s Architecture Billings Index ticked up to 53.3 from 51.0 in July, as more firms reported an increase in billings (any score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings).
The September Purchasing Managers Index registered at 50.9%, 1.9 percentage points lower than August’s reading. This is the lowest PMI reading since May 2020.
The Consumer Confidence Index increased in September to 108. This is the second consecutive month of increases.
After substantial declines throughout September, this month’s aluminum prices appear strong compared to other metals. Aluminum prices hit a bottom in late September, but rebounded during the first week of October.
Flat-rolled stainless steel raw material and alloy surcharges in the United States are mixed in October after a three-month decline.
Surcharges for alloy costs diverged, with nickel and molybdenum rising, iron and manganese falling and chrome unchanged from September.
For more information, contact your local sales rep or view the October Market Insight Guide below.