Sector3’s focused expertise produces a targeted, insightful
and truly useful appraisal.

Sector3 helps companies and lenders decipher the underlying value of raw materials, metals, chemicals, plastics, and commodity inventory and machinery and equipment.  We are successful because we:

  • Specialize in the metals, chemicals, plastics, and commodity markets;
  • Offer extensive metals, chemicals, and plastics valuation experience
  • Believe customer service is a long-term objective.  

These advantages set Sector3 apart from other appraisal companies, and
have made Sector3 one of the largest metals, chemicals and commodity appraisal firms in the U.S.

Economic Indicators

Industrial production moved up 0.5% in March 2018 after rising 1.0% in the previous month.  Manufacturing output increased 0.1%, mining advanced 1.0% and the utilities index climbed 3.0%.  While capacity utilization gained 0.3 ppts to 78.0% in March, it is still 1.8 ppts below the 1972-2017 average.  On a year-over-year basis, industrial production in March rose 4.3%.
    
After declining in January, new orders for manufactured durable goods in February 2018 increased 3.1% or $7.4 billion to $247.7 billion per the advanced report.  The growth was led by new orders for transportation equipment, which rose 7.1% or $5.5 billion to $83.5 billion.  Shipments of manufactured durable goods continued on an upward trend, increasing 0.9% in February or $2.2 billion to $249.7 billion.   Shipments improved in nine of the past 10 months and machinery led the February increase, up 1.8% or $0.6 billion to $33.4 billion.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell 1.5 ppts in March 2018 to 59.3%.  A value above 50% signifies expansion in the manufacturing industry.  Despite the decrease, March’s PMI reflected growth in 17 of 18 industries.  According to respondents from the primary metals and machinery industries, the imposition of tariffs resulting from the Section 232 investigation are causing price increase as well as inventory shortages.  

The Consumer Confidence Index fell 3.3 ppts in March 2018 to 127.7 from February levels.  Sentiment regarding current business conditions have worsened slightly, while short-term expectations for job prospects and the stock market are less optimistic.  However, consumer confidence remains high relative to historic norms and further growth is anticipated in the months ahead.

The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in March 2018 dropped 0.1% month-over-month.  The energy index fell 2.8% after rising three of the past four months, while food prices increased 0.1% following a flat February.  Excluding food and energy, the CPI-U advanced 0.2% in March.  The seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index (PPI) for total final demand in March rose 0.3% over the prior month.

Per the third estimate, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.9% in Q4 2017, versus 3.2% growth in Q3 2017.  The revised third estimate resulted in an increase of 0.4 percentage points (ppts) over the second estimate, reflecting improved figures for personal consumption expenditures and private inventory investment.  In addition, the Q4 rate of expansion was attributed to positive contributions from exports, residential/nonresidential fixed investments and government spending.  The overall deceleration in Q4 GDP growth is largely due to reductions in private inventory investment.  Imports, a detractor from GDP, increased.



In February 2018, the preliminary chemical and allied products Producer Price Index rose to 293.1 following the January 2018 reading of 290.1.

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