October 2012 - During the second quarter, the domestic steel market continued rebounding from the lows of 2011. Analysts noted a decrease in M&A market transaction volume, although transaction values rose to pre-2011 levels. Steel prices decreased overall, but downward price pressures from 2011 are expected to subside as steelmaking operations continue to show ability to pass through costs in the short term. Domestic steel producers’ utilization rate decreased to an average of 76.1 percent. Domestic crude steel production increased to 25 million tons, an increase of 5.3 percent from 23.8 million tons during the same period last year. For the 11th quarter in a row, the U.S. economy grew: real GDP at 1.5 percent in addition to the 1.9 percent growth in the first quarter. China’s economy slowed to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, well below its GDP growth of 9.5 percent in the second quarter of 2011. The second quarter of 2012 was the slowest quarter of economic growth in China in three years.
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