As part of the American Supply Association’s monthly commodity report updates from its Industrial Piping Division, here is the January economic summary.

● Corporate spending rebounded slightly; investment was up 0.2% in November (latest available) and was up by 0.4% Y/Y.

● Despite the industrial side of the U.S. economy slipping into contraction, the consumer side of the U.S. economy remains strong with advanced retail sales growing 6.0% Y/Y through December (latest available).

● Housing starts surged in December Y/Y (latest available) at an annualized 1.61 million rate, up 40.8% year-over-year in a volatile market. Mortgage rates are still favorable for new construction and Fed holding rates steady will help.

● Oil prices remain higher Y/Y by 15.6%, and  U.S. land-based oil rig counts are down 254 units compared to last year through 1/17/2020; Oil is down 179, and gas is down 78.  North American rig counts are down 219 rigs, mostly because of a global economic slowdown that continues.