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04/17/2017

Trying to Glean Trends

I have been tracking U.S. steel production since 1990, handwritten on spread sheets, as one of many indicators I’ve been following since then, including the Bull/Bear readings you see in my “Week in Review” commentaries.

But it was back in the early 1990s, when the fund company I was working with was acquired by PIMCO Funds, that I first met Bill Gross and I was pleasantly surprised when I asked him if he could look at one indicator for some idea on the movement of the economy, what would it be, and he said “steel production.”  I can virtually guarantee he would give a different response today, over 20 years later, but every few years I can’t help but jot down current production levels vs. prior periods.

Alas, what follows below probably teaches us nothing, but because of time constraints, once I start on an idea for this column I have to finish it! 

Steel Production (000’s tons)....as listed each week in Barron’s. 

Seven-week periods....(early March thru mid-April)

2017...1770, 1760, 1791, 1747, 1725, 1682, 1703

2016...1692, 1673, 1722, 1668, 1675, 1650, 1656

2015...1657, 1645, 1623, 1639, 1628, 1600, 1621

2014...1861, 1840, 1828, 1885, 1820, 1812, 1785

2013...1857, 1828, 1785, 1809, 1819, 1858, 1880

GDP

2013...1.7% for the year
2014...2.4%
2015...2.6%
2016...1.6%
2017...????

Well, no real discernible trends from the above, but there are times this can be a useful tool.  Like when comparing 2007 (growth) and 2009 (recession).

2007...1961, 1981, 2017, 2001, 2006, 2031, 2017 (early March thru mid-April)

2009...980, 1038, 976, 1027, 1006, 965, 1033

GDP

2007...1.8%
2009... -2.8%

Wall Street History will return in a week or so with my proprietary look at the latest housing data.

Brian Trumbore



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-04/17/2017-      
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Wall Street History

04/17/2017

Trying to Glean Trends

I have been tracking U.S. steel production since 1990, handwritten on spread sheets, as one of many indicators I’ve been following since then, including the Bull/Bear readings you see in my “Week in Review” commentaries.

But it was back in the early 1990s, when the fund company I was working with was acquired by PIMCO Funds, that I first met Bill Gross and I was pleasantly surprised when I asked him if he could look at one indicator for some idea on the movement of the economy, what would it be, and he said “steel production.”  I can virtually guarantee he would give a different response today, over 20 years later, but every few years I can’t help but jot down current production levels vs. prior periods.

Alas, what follows below probably teaches us nothing, but because of time constraints, once I start on an idea for this column I have to finish it! 

Steel Production (000’s tons)....as listed each week in Barron’s. 

Seven-week periods....(early March thru mid-April)

2017...1770, 1760, 1791, 1747, 1725, 1682, 1703

2016...1692, 1673, 1722, 1668, 1675, 1650, 1656

2015...1657, 1645, 1623, 1639, 1628, 1600, 1621

2014...1861, 1840, 1828, 1885, 1820, 1812, 1785

2013...1857, 1828, 1785, 1809, 1819, 1858, 1880

GDP

2013...1.7% for the year
2014...2.4%
2015...2.6%
2016...1.6%
2017...????

Well, no real discernible trends from the above, but there are times this can be a useful tool.  Like when comparing 2007 (growth) and 2009 (recession).

2007...1961, 1981, 2017, 2001, 2006, 2031, 2017 (early March thru mid-April)

2009...980, 1038, 976, 1027, 1006, 965, 1033

GDP

2007...1.8%
2009... -2.8%

Wall Street History will return in a week or so with my proprietary look at the latest housing data.

Brian Trumbore