According to the CCAI (Chemical Coaters Association International) Executive Economic Summary for April 2013, seven of the twelve sectors that they measure are showing generally positive trends. The sectors that are positive are new automobile and light truck sales, new home starts, steel consumption, industrial capacity utilization, Purchasing Managers Index, capital expenditure, and credit movement. The sectors that are negative are metal pricing, durable goods shipments, appliance activity, factory orders, and transportation activity.
New automobile and truck sales, though consumer sales peaked last year, are still going strong. Dealers are buying cars for their inventories and car manufacturers keep making cars and trucks, ready for the resurgence of consumer auto purchases. The new home starts sector is showing rapid growth and show signs of continuing its upward climb. However, there is some fear that there will not be enough credit available for new buyers. Steel consumption is going strong right now, but the future is not bright for this sector, as cars made of aluminum hit the market and public sector construction projects are put on hold. Industrial capacity utilization is growing, but hasn’t reached the point that it was in July. The Purchasing Managers Index is just over the expansion mark, due in part to the slowing down of the industrial sector. Though capital expenditure has a positive trend, but companies have been spending more on capital equipment than on hiring more employees. Credit movement is much lower than desirable, but is at least still positive.
Metal pricing is on a downward slope, but the future might be a little more positive for aluminum, gold, and scrap metal. Durable goods shipments have been slower in the last year because of the volatility of the aerospace market and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Appliance activity has decreased mainly because it is so closely tied to the housing market. Factory orders have been down and have been extremely volatile, especially in the consumer sector. Transportation activity is negative, according to the TransSystems Transportation Activity Index.
The CCAI Executive Economic Summary is a benefit on CCAI membership.