Slow, steady growth seen for metals, manufacturing

Apr 16, 2012 | 11:32 AM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Federal Reserve Bank, economic conditions survey, manufacturing, steel, automotive, heavy equipment, capacity utilization, production orders

CHICAGO — Manufacturing and metals activity continued to improve over the past few months and appear likely to maintain a steady pace at least through May, according to an economic conditions survey conducted by each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts.

In the Cleveland district, for example, shipping volumes by steel producers and service centers trended slightly higher, driven by demand from the automotive, energy and industrial equipment markets.

"Steel representatives are cautiously optimistic about second-quarter shipments, and they expect the positive growth trend to continue," the Cleveland bank said. "Auto production increased substantially from prior-year levels—attributed, in part, to the abatement of supply chain issues."....

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