From The Editor

Survey Shows Metals Execs Expect 4 More Years

By on
MCN Editor Dan Markham

Domestic metals executives are not just hoping for Donald Trump’s re-election, they’re expecting it. Those were two of the results from Headwall Partners’ latest survey of the metals industry.

In Headwall Partners’ annual polling of metals industry participants, half of whom were service center executives, respondents overwhelmingly said the president’s policies have been good for business. Almost three-quarters of respondents believed the policies were positive, while an equal number (14 percent) said they had little to no impact or were strongly positive. No one weighed his policies as having negative or strongly negative results.

Additionally, more than 90 percent believed his policies will have a positive effect on GDP in 2020, while only 5 percent expect a negative effect. In terms of GDP, 64 percent of respondents were expecting 2020 growth in the 2-2.9 percent range, while the other 36 percent anticipated growth between 1 and 1.9 percent.

However, there was far less consensus on the president’s signature trade issue – Section 232 tariffs. Only 5 percent believed they greatly helped the performance of the respondent’s company and an additional 32 percent said they moderately helped. That was more than offset by the 18 percent who experienced moderate harm and the 23 percent who claimed great harm from the levies.

And when asked who they think will take the White House this November, more than 90 percent tabbed Trump to earn a second term. Nine percent favored another candidate, though interestingly that “other” candidate was not Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Michael Bloomberg, all of whom received no support.

On the steel side, respondents were split on the expected average price of hot-rolled coil this year, with a plurality (36 percent) favoring a $550-599 price range, narrowly ahead of those expecting the average to sit between $600 and $649. Twenty-three percent envisioned pricing in the $500-$549 range, with the other 9 percent truly optimistic, forecasting pricing between $650-699.

Companies were also far more optimistic about their own performance this year than the economy as a whole. Nineteen percent of respondent expected revenues to decline this year, which is about half as many who expect to see growth of 4 percent or better. Fifty-nine percent of respondents anticipate their growth to exceed 3 percent. 

The complete results can be found here..

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