Steel leading index for US up slightly in Jan over Dec
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According to the Metal Industry Indicators report released by the US Geological Survey (USGS), the steel leading index for the US increased by 0.7 percent in January this year, the latest month for which it is available, rising to 112.2 from a revised 111.4 in December. Its six-month smoothed growth rate increased to 3.1 percent in January from a revised 1.9 percent in December.
A pullback in new orders for iron and steel products has been seen in January in the US. However, the modestly high steel leading index growth rate suggests that the steel industry activity could continue to grow in the near term.
Note: Composite coincident indexes for the metal industries consist of indicators for production, shipments, and total employee hours worked. A growth rate above +1.0 percent is usually a sign of an upward near-term trend for future metals activity, while a growth rate below -1.0 percent indicates a downward trend.