The US steel industry is one of the most important in the United States economy. There are many people that are employed in this industry, and there are many industries affected by how well the US steel industry performs.
However, there are also many outside factors that affect the US steel industry. These factors are important for anyone to consider because they have many far reaching effects within the US economy.
Price of Oil
One of the biggest economic developments over the past year has been the price of oil. The price of oil peaked in the summer of 2014, and started falling rapidly over the next six months.
Many industries, such as the airlines, saw a huge increase in profits as their costs were reduced dramatically. In addition, the US steel industry also saw gains from the fact that the price of oil was reduced.
Whenever the price of oil is reduced, generally many economic sectors within the United States economy can produce goods at a cheaper rate. At the end of the day, no one knows exactly where the price of oil is headed. However, wherever the price of oil goes it will affect the US steel industry.
With the latest numbers on US economic growth, there are many people that are worried about the GDP numbers in the United States.
The GDP, or gross domestic product, is the value of all the goods and services produced within a country within a year. When the GDP is rising at a good rate, most of the industries within the United States are propelled with that growth.
The US steel industry is generally one that moves in line with infrastructure growth. This means that when the US economy is expanding so is the US steel industry. However, at the end of the first quarter of 2015, the GDP number was lower than expected. This could signal future weakening demand of the US steel industry.
Over the next couple of quarters, it will be important to watch the GDP numbers and whether they start growing at a faster rate.
World Wide Demand
Finally, the world wide demand for US steel is perhaps the most important outside factor right now that is affecting the industry. For many years, developing nations such as India, China, and Brazil all were responsible for a large percentage of the US steel business.
However, the economic growth in those nations is starting to taper off, and with that so is the total world wide demand for US steel. Although it is not the only source of demand, international steel demand is definitely a large enough percentage that any meaningful slow down will hurt the growth in this sector.
As long as the world wide economies are in a depressed state, the US steel industry is not going to see the growth that it did when both the economy of the United States and others around the world were growing.