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Global economy and steel down but not out - ArcelorMittal
7.22.2009 | -- admin
It is reported that despite small signs of recovery, the short term outlooks for the steel industry and the economy are not positive, but both have a great future.
Mr Mike Rippey president & CEO of ArcelorMittal USA said that the economic recession, the worst since World War II, probably won't end this year, but the end will come. He added that "There's a great future for the steel industry, for ArcelorMittal and manufacturing in the US."
He said that the global economic distress and low steel demand result from several factors, including poor automobile sales and production, housing starts, commercial construction and manufacturing investment. The unemployment rate stands at more than 8 percent and could go to 10% before easing.
Mr Rippey said that the automobile industry, which accounts for a large percentage of the domestic steel market, is a big factor in the current steel crisis that has pushed US steel production into the 40% range from 90% rate in August 2008. He added that "There are a shrinking number of cars on the road. I don't think that's sustainable, which eventually will create demand. We are going through a very difficult period," he said, adding that although it's difficult, the steel industry is getting through it without the bankruptcies that occurred during other downturns."
He added that ArcelorMittal USA is matching supply with demand and all of its facilities are experiencing reduced employment. He said that "We are looking at a reduced order book. Employment at Indiana Harbor and Burns Harbor still is very high, but there are a significant number on layoff. I don't think that will change quickly. That will take an up tick in demand.
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