Last week, according to the Northwest Indiana Times, raw steel production in the Great Lakes rose to an output level of 628,000 tons. This will be the second week in a row that it’s made a steady increase, despite overall U.S. steel production dropping 2.82% in the same time span. Domestic raw steel production, in total, was around 1.747 million tons, an increase from the previous week’s 1.722 million tons.
In the Great Lakes area, with most of the output centered around Chicago and Northwest Indiana, steel production saw a 0.9% increase, totaling an additional 6,000 tons of output. The American Iron and Steel Institute reports a year-to-date output of 45.2 million net tons, with a capacity utilization rate of 72.4%. In comparison, the total domestic production of raw steel saw an output of about 1.684 million tons, down from the 1.733 million tons produced just a week earlier.
Micah Pollak, Assistant Professor of Economics at Indiana University Northwest, offered, “The forecast is fairly optimistic. The decline was temporary, and we bounced back from that. We’re very optimistic with the Dow-Jones and after the U.S. didn’t come out and raise rates. It’s encouraging for the near future.”
He also commented “The Dow-Jones Transportation Index also was positive, which means positive growth in the region, too. Steel has been a troublesome part of the economy. Production has been going down. Otherwise it’s healthy. I think we’re back to where we were before the recession.”
This could be positive news for consumers, as well. The increase in regional steel will most likely lower the market price on home furnishings, like steel windows and doors. With unlocked windows and doors accounting for 30% of all home robberies, this could be mean a profitable season for local steel furnishing distributors.