Afternoon Coffee: Steel Challenging Aluminum’s Rise at Auto Makers, Yellen Sees Economy in Good Health

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Challenging the rise of the all-aluminum body in cars, forms of lighter, stronger steel are becoming increasingly popular with auto makers, the Wall Street Journal reports. By 2025, the amount of lightweight, high-strength steel in a car or light truck in North America is projected to rise to an average 483 pounds, 76% above the 2015 average, according to industry consultancy Ducker Worldwide.

Yellen’s Assessment 

The U.S. economy is in good health and its continued strength should warrant additional interest rate increases, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in remarks to the Group of 30 Sunday. As the New York Times reports, a third 0.25% increase in the benchmark interest rate is expected this year, likely during the central bank’s mid-December meeting.

Consumer Sentiment

To that point, consumers are feeling upbeat about their economic prospects. Bloomberg reported Friday that U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly surged to a 13-year high, far surpassing any analyst estimates. 

Business Inventories

And finally, an economic update: U.S. business inventories recorded their biggest increase in nine months in August, according to CNBC, rising 0.7% after rising 0.3% in July.

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