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Tag Archives: Manufacturing

Phenomenal Trucking Boom Ends, Trucking Bust Starts

So that U-turn was fast, even for the legendarily cyclical trucking business. In January, orders for Class-8 trucks — the heavy trucks that haul trailers with goods of all kinds across the US — plunged by 58% from a year ago, to just 15,642 orders. It was the lowest number or orders since October 2016, toward the end of the “transportation recession” when Class-8 truck orders had plunged to the lowest levels since 2009, and truck and engine manufacturers responded with layoffs. The...

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New Trucks are Hot, Prices Surge. But Cars Face Carmageddon. And Total Sales Fall

Americans love paying big profit margins for big equipment, and automakers love them for it, but total sales are declining, and something doesn’t add up. The average transaction price of the vehicles sold by Fiat Chrysler jumped 5% in January compared to a year ago; for vehicles sold by Ford Motor Company, they rose 3.4%; for GM 2.4%; for Subaru 5.4%; for Toyota 3.0%. For the industry as a whole, the average transaction price in January, according to estimates by Kelley Blue Book,...

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We’re Flying with Eyes Partially Closed into Turbulent Markets & Economy

But for the markets: “No Data is Good Data” “NOTICE: Due to a lapse in federal funding this website is not being updated,” it says in big lettering against a bright red background at the top of the data sites of the Department of Commerce. This morning, the Commerce Department was supposed to release crucial data for the housing market: sales and inventories of new single-family houses (“new home sales”). This includes sales and inventory figures, how many months of supply there was,...

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Big Exporters are Losing It: US Manufacturing Gains. Germany, Japan, China not so Lucky

Central-Bank Stimulus Fail: The longer it drags on, the worse it gets? Manufacturing in the powerhouses Germany, Japan, and China took a hit – all of them complaining about exports. But US manufacturing continues to expand, according to a slew purchasing managers indices (PMI) released by IHS Markit. US Manufacturing Clings to Gains: In the US, “manufacturing remained a bright spot as production volumes expanded at the fastest pace for eight months,” IHS Markit reported today. Domestic...

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Trucking Boom Ends, Next Phase in Cycle Starts

This is a very cyclical business.  In December, orders for new Class-8 trucks — the heavy trucks that haul the products of the goods-based economy across the US — plunged by 43% from a year ago, to just 21,000 orders, the lowest since August 2017, and down by 60% from August 2018. The chart shows the percent change of Class-8 truck orders for each month compared to the same month a year earlier, which eliminates the effects of seasonality (data via transportation data provider FTR):...

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How US Oil Booms & Busts Hit Industrial Production

Fueled by cheap money and by dashed hopes of high oil prices. Industrial production in October rose 4.1% from a year ago, the Fed Board of Governors reported this morning. This was in the upper portion of the range since 2010. It was powered in part by the blistering oil & gas production boom that followed the Oil Bust of 2015 and 2016. This chart shows the percent change in industrial production from the same month a year earlier. The red bars – industrial production falling...

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Apple Gets Re-Crushed: New iPhone Prices Too Damn High?

Time for some hefty share buybacks. Apple suppliers are talking and filling in some details on demand for iPhones. And shares of Apple dropped another 4% mid-morning, after having dropped 6.6% on Friday, after it had reported revenues and earnings Thursday evening. Earnings and revenues rose sharply in the quarter, but only on price increases, not on increased device sales. This was spiced with an iffy forecast for holiday sales and the announcement that it would stop releasing...

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What General Electric Is Doing to Dodge the Question: “When Will GE File for Bankruptcy?”

The hail of two-notch downgrades doesn’t help. Wolf here: Shares of General Electric [GE] are down over 3% this beautiful Friday morning, trading at $9.20. If they close at this level, they would mark a new nine-year closing low. Shares are down 52% year-to-date: The lowest close since the 1990s was $6.66 on March 5, 2009, during the Financial Crisis. I remember well: The next morning, then CEO Jeff Inmelt was on CNBC, which was owned by NBC, which was owned by GE at the time. And...

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What I Think about Tesla’s Financials

The chart that makes me scratch my head. Tesla reported earnings today – a profit, its third quarterly profit ever, and its first profit based on operations rather than the sale of taxpayer-funded pollution credits. So it’s time to reflect. I have always given Elon Musk full and extra credit for putting electric vehicles on the map and making them cool, after others have tried for about 150 years and failed. But I have never been a fan of Tesla’s financial performance, which has been...

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Backfire Economics: Double-digit increases in US steel prices to the highest in the world are crippling US manufacturers – Publications – AEI

AEI Backfire Economics: Double-digit increases in US steel prices to the highest in the world are crippling US manufacturers Here’s another example of how Trump’s tariffs are backfiring and putting American producers at great risk. Thanks to double-digit increases in domestic steel prices over the last year, U.S. steel costs are the highest in the world and putting our manufacturers like Ford, GM, and Caterpillar at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their global...

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