MH Daily Bulletin: November 17

November 17, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland’s U.S. and Puerto Rico offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.


World Population Reaches 8 Billion

Supply Chain

  • Maersk-owned Svitzer will indefinitely lock out all its Australian tugboat crews in an escalating labor dispute. The move will effectively close shipping traffic to the nation’s 17 major ports.
  • Combined inbound volumes into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach plummeted 26% last month, the third straight year-over-year decline.
  • A container terminal at the Port of Oakland resumed operations after longshore workers went on strike.
  • Container volumes handled by the UAE’s AD Ports Group soared 31% in the third quarter.
  • U.S. business inventories rose by a moderate 0.4% from August to September, suggesting firms were more cautious about ordering merchandise.
United States Business Inventories

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 83,096 new COVID-19 infections and 825 virus fatalities Wednesday.
  • U.S. hospitals are running out of effective COVID-19 antibody treatments as virus strains rapidly evolve to evade immunity.
  • The U.S. administration is asking Congress to approve an additional $9.25 billion for COVID-19 measures.
  • JPMorgan says the U.S. will see a “mild” recession in 2023 on impacts from the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hikes. One million Americans could ultimately lose their jobs in the downturn, the bank said.
  • The San Francisco Fed says the central bank’s policy rate could peak in the 4.75%-5.25% range next year.
  • First-time jobless claims fell by 4,000 to 222,000 last week, despite big staff reductions in the tech sector, indicating the employment market remains tight. 
  • While U.S. retail sales rose by a sharp 1.3% in October, spending patterns have shifted as consumers spread out purchases and buy more gift cards to avoid stock outs.
U.S. Retail Sales
  • U.S. import prices dropped by 0.2% in October, the fourth straight decline in a further signal that inflation has peaked.
  • U.S. manufacturing output barely rose in October, while overall industrial production decreased by 0.1%:
United States Industrial Production MoM
  • U.S. mortgage rates dipped below 7% last week, prompting a brief surge in purchase applications that otherwise remained depressed.
  • More people are tapping the equity in their homes as high interest-rates drive up the cost of borrowing money, with home-equity lines of credit rising an annual 40% in the second quarter to $66 billion.
  • United Airlines says Thanksgiving travel will surge 12% this year to 5.5 million passengers, roughly in line with 2019 levels.
  • Target’s disappointing third-quarter earnings report sent its shares down 17% and prompted a broad selloff in U.S. retailer stocks Wednesday.
  • Macy’s said third quarter sales fell 3.9% as it offered promotions to reduce bloated inventories.
  • Lowe’s raised its annual profit forecast after comparable sales grew a stronger-than-expected 2.2% in the third quarter.
  • T.J. Maxx parent TJX raised its outlook as cash-strapped consumers turned to the discount store for affordable clothing and home décor last quarter.
  • Cisco Systems raised its full-year revenue and profit forecast as supply-chain hurdles ease ahead of the conglomerate’s cost-cutting restructuring. 
  • Upside Foods received the first ever FDA approval for a meat product grown from the cells of live animals.

International Markets

  • Global COVID-19 cases climbed 2% last week to 2.3 million, the first increase in four months. Deaths dipped slightly to 7,400.
  • China reported 20,199 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday, including hundreds of cases in Beijing, Guangzhou and the manufacturing hub of Zhengzhou. Other regions surpassed 100 days of lockdowns Wednesday.
  • Chinese government advisers will recommend modest GDP growth targets of 4.5% to 5.5% next year, a pickup from 2022 but still suppressed by COVID-19 and other challenges.
  • British trade is slowing much faster than the rest of the world due to lingering impacts from 2016’s Brexit, the Bank of England says.
  • The U.K.’s new administration reversed its predecessor’s failed economic policies and announced tough spending cuts and tax hikes to restore the nation’s economy. 
  • Canada’s annual inflation rate held steady at 6.9% in October, matching forecasts.
  • Canadian housing starts fell 11% in October, a sharp pullback from the previous month.
  • Russia’s economy shrank 4% year over year in the third quarter and is headed for an even steeper decline to start 2023.
  • JetBlue will expand its trans-Atlantic coverage by offering flights to Paris next year, a bid to cash in on robust travel demand.
  • Swiss drugmaker Novartis is considering selling its ophthalmology and respiratory units for well over $5 billion, according to reports.
  • Amazon’s market-dominating AWS cloud unit will invest $2.6 billion in Spain over the next decade.
Amazon, Microsoft & Google Dominate Cloud Market

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