Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised 3Q2010 GDP upward to 2.5 percent. This follows a 3.7 percent increase in 1Q2010 and a 1.7 percent increase in 2Q2010. This 2.5 percent includes 1.3 percent in inventory building and 1.2 percent in actual sales of domestic products.
In October, performance in the Wood Products sector remained essentially static; the only reported change was an uptick in employment. The expansion in Paper Products, by contrast, encompassed production, employment and new export orders. Neither class of manufacturers reported an increase in new domestic orders in the first month of the fourth quarter.
The non-manufacturing sector also grew more quickly, thanks to a 1.1 percentage point (to 54.3 percent) increase in the non-manufacturing index. None of the specific service industries we track shared in that expansion, however. Like Wood Products, Real Estate was unchanged; Construction and Ag & Forestry both contracted.
Manufacturers’ input prices were relatively stable in October, rising 0.5 percentage point, but prices paid by the service sector jumped a whopping 8.2 percentage points. Relevant commodities up in price included coated freesheet, corrugated containers, lumber, fuel (both diesel and gasoline) and transportation. No relevant commodities were down in price. Coated groundwood was the only relevant commodity described as in short supply.
Although new orders rose substantially in both the Census Bureau’s and ISM’s reports, new domestic orders for forest products manufacturers and service industries with at least a tangential relationship to the forest products sector either remained unchanged or declined in October. New export orders rose for some industries, but they were at least partially offset by an increase in imports.
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