Stronger Investment Is Good News for Fabricated Metals—After several years of contraction, non-residential construction turned a corner in 2017 and has increased in five consecutive quarters. Importantly, investment in new machinery and equipment has been a key driver of this trend, which has helped push up demand for fabricated metals.
Record-Breaking Performance—Early in 2018, both current sales and new orders reached record levels, narrowly surpassing their pre-recession peaks by about $400 million each.
Trade Retaliation—The U.S. administration continues to ramp up protectionist rhetoric, forcing Canadian policy-makers to retaliate in kind. Higher prices due to tariffs have thus far been easily passed on to consumers but are likely to weigh on medium-term demand as the impact of higher prices finally sets in.