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The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 59.2 in January, up from December’s 57.1. Output increased at a rate not seen since August 2014. The rise in production was driven by stronger client demand and a significant increase in new orders. New export orders rose at their fastest pace since September 2014. Raw material and transportation shortages, notably trucking, disrupted supply chains, increasing input costs. Many firms passed the higher input prices onto their clients. The longer lead times for inputs also led firms to increase their purchasing activity in January, resulting in the fastest rise in pre-production inventories since December 2019. Pressure on capacity and a faster rise in new orders lead goods producers to increase their workforce. The rate of job creation was the fastest in two years.
Refineries operated at 82.5% of operable capacity for the week ending January 29, 2021. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs dropped 80,000 barrels as compared to the previous week to a 14.6 million barrels per day average. Gasoline production decreased, averaging 8.4 million barrels per day. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 4.5 million barrels and are about 1% below the five-year average for this time of year. Distillate fuel production increased, averaging 4.6 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel inventories were virtually unchanged and are about 8% above the five-year average for this time of year. Comparing the past for weeks to the same period last year – motor gasoline product supplied was down 10.6%, distillate fuel product supplied was up 1.5%, and jet fuel product supplied was down 31.2%.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in January, down from 6.7% in December. Hampered by COVID-19, employers added only 49,000 jobs. About half the drop occurred because of those who found work, while others stopped looking for work altogether and were no longer counted as unemployed. In January, notable job gains in professional and business services (+97,000) and in both public and private education (+119,000) were offset by losses in leisure and hospitality (-61,000), in retail trade (-38,000), in health care (-30,000), and in transportation and warehousing (-28,000).
Tuesday February 9 – JOLTs Job Openings (Dec)
Wednesday February 10 – Core CPI (Mom) (Jan)
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