of 12 federal reserve bank districts reported economic growth
during an eight-week period through early October, with some
cautious optimism evident in modestly higher business spending
and hiring, according to the Federal Reserves latest
economic conditions report.
In the Cleveland
district, steel producers and service centers reported that
shipping volume was increasing, albeit at a very slow rate, but
several survey respondents expressed concern about the quantity
of steel imports, especially from China. Steelmakers do not
expect market conditions to change appreciably in the coming
In the Chicago
district, steel production and capacity utilization were
steady, with an increase in domestic demand being met by rising
imports. Specialty metal manufacturers reported lower
shipments, but said their fourth-quarter order books had
filled. Prices for steel, copper and aluminum edged lower in
the eight-week period.
products and metal spring companies in the St. Louis federal
reserve bank district said they planned expansion projects that
district reported increased iron ore output, and a stalled
copper-nickel mining development in Michigan resumed
construction after it was sold.
Metal fabricators in
the Dallas district said they were busy as demand for energy
equipment increased, but demand for primary metals softened
In the San Francisco
region, demand for steel products used in nonresidential
construction edged up and steel producers said capacity
utilization was mostly stable, assisted by demand from the
automotive and aircraft industries.
In the Atlanta region,
port operators said there had been increased movement of steel
imports, and railroads saw substantial increases in nonferrous
scrap metal shipments.
manufacturers saw a significant rebound in orders and shipments
since the previous survey and optimism that business conditions
will improve over the next six months broadened.
In the Kansas City
region, expectations for energy activity improved and should
remain stable, according to the latest survey.