What’s happening this month in the industrial sector? Read on, as the GCP team examines recent price movements, economic trends and news, from around North America.
Included below are a few points highlighted from the report,
- The industrial sector continued to expand in February, highlighted by strong demand from customers. According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM®) 16 of 18 tracked industries reported growth.
- The U.S. national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas crossed $4 a gallon for the first time since 2008, according to AAA. Gas prices at the pump are at record highs.
- Rubber-based products continue to remain at elevated prices due to product scarcity coupled with continued high demand.
- All major ports have remained open, and carriers have yet to cancel port calls. The degree to which ocean logistics and prices will be impacted depends on how long restrictions and lockdowns lasts.
- The average rate per shipment accelerated 37% year-over-year in February. The increase was mainly due to the Omicron-related effects on capacity.
- As of mid-March, congestion at the twin ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach is down to 43 ships. That is less than half the record high of 109 ships recorded on Jan. 9, 2022.
- The number of unfilled job openings remains far above the 48-year historical average of 23%.
- European natural gas prices continue to drop. They’ve now decreased over 50%from their early March highs, as Qatar agreed to work on supplying Germany with LNG.
- North America and other western countries have seen their case counts from the Omicron wave collapse over the past several weeks, and it now looks like the worst of this wave of the virus is behind us. As a result, restrictions are starting to be removed at a rapid rate.
- Energy prices increased 3.5% last month and going forward we can expect energy to be a massive contributor for March inflation number given the recent spike in oil prices.
- Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway has begun a “structured shutdown” of its rail service across Canada after a breakdown in talks with the Teamsters union on Saturday.
We hope you find these thoughts helpful and can use the attached information in your business and with your customers.