Primed for Another Year of Growth

Primed for Another Year of Growth

Jan 23, 2018

By Neil Dutta, Bloomberg  The global economy is a big driver, but domestic demand is even more important. U.S. manufacturing production just had its best year since 2011, yet some argue that 2017 was as good as it will get and that a slowdown is ahead. We think the opposite is more likely: Factory output is poised to speed up. Investors worried that the equity market is stretched should take heart. Stronger growth in factory output is a good reason to remain cyclically oriented, especially in U.S. industrial stocks. Trade, one of the biggest engines of the sector in 2017, is likely to continue to gather momentum. Stronger global growth expectations and a weaker dollar should help as manufacturing goods represent about half of all exports. Moreover, at least some of the current recovery in factories can be traced to the rebound in the mining industry. Mining output declined steadily from December 2014 to September 2016. Production was down 0.6 percent during this period, when there was also a sharp pullback in oil and drilling equipment. Today, we are seeing the opposite dynamic. With commodity markets in recovery, mining-related investment is more of a tailwind to factories. While the global economy is a big driver of manufacturing growth, U.S. domestic demand is even more important. Every 1 percentage point increase in domestic demand (GDP net of trade) boosts manufacturing production by 1.34 percentage point on an annualized basis, while every 1 percentage point increase in global industrial production outside the U.S. lifts domestic manufacturing production by 0.44 percentage point. There are several positive, somewhat related signs for the manufacturing outlook in the domestic economy. First, U.S. inventory investment is simply too low. Although the contribution of inventories to growth can be volatile from quarter to quarter, inventories tend to grow in line with final sales over longer periods of time. Today, that simply is not happening; inventories have been trailing the growth in domestic demand. If the economy expands at 2.2 percent, the rough trend since the end of the recession, inventories would need to grow by about $50 billion per year to keep pace with demand. Inventories ran below that level in 2017....

Apple announces plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash…

Apple announces plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash…

Jan 19, 2018

“Apple announces plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash, says it will contribute $350 billion to the US economy over the next 5 years” By Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC Apple on Wednesday made a slew of announcements about its investment in and contribution to the U.S. economy in part because of the new tax law. The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion “contribution” to the U.S. economy. The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus. It said it expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States. This implies it will repatriate virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash. Apple also said it will spend over $30 billion in capital expenditures over the next five years. About $10 billion in capital expenditures will be investments in U.S. data centers, the company said. Apple added that it will spend $5 billion as part of an innovation fund, up from the $1 billion CEO Tim Cook announced last year on CNBC’s “Mad Money.” The job creation will include direct employment and also suppliers and its app business, which it had already planned to grow substantially (app developers earned $26.5 billion in 2017.) The new campus will focus on customer support. Wednesday’s announcement indicates that Apple will still have hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. It could spend that money on buybacks, dividends or acquisitions or moonshot projects. The announcement raises the bar for the world’s most valuable company — now a huge driver of the economy — to continue its dominance and growth in the wake of political pressure on big tech companies. The plan calls for Apple to keep up 2018’s $55 billion “supercycle” spending rate with domestic suppliers and manufacturers. “We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible,” Cook said in a statement. Apple to create 20,000 jobs over the next 5 years from CNBC. In 2016, then president-elect Donald Trump publicly called out Apple’s reliance on its Chinese supply chain, telling The New York...

These 7 Exoskeletons Are Making The World Easier…

These 7 Exoskeletons Are Making The World Easier…

Jan 10, 2018

“These 7 Exoskeletons Are Making The World Easier To Navigate” By Tech Insider 1. You can literally take this seat anywhere. The Chairless Chair is a tool you can lean on. When locked, it can be rested on. 2. Lowe’s is giving its workers “Iron Man suits.” It makes carrying heavy loads easier. Lowe’s worked with Virginia Tech on the project. 3. This exoskeleton can help people with paraplegia walk. “Phoenix” was designed by suitX. suitX calls it “the world’s lightest and most advanced exoskeleton.” 4. Ford assembly line workers are testing EksoVest. It helps reduce injury from repetitive tasks. 5. This robotic glove is helping some people with paralysis. The Exo-Glove Poly is a wearable soft robot. The motion of your wrist control the fingers. Users can lift and grasp things up to a pound. 6. This suit gives you super strength. suitX makes five types of modular suits. They help reduce workloads of the user. 7. Ekso exoskeletons can help people with paraplegia walk again. It’s a robot that adds power to your hips and knees....

US Manufacturing Adds 25,000 Jobs in December

US Manufacturing Adds 25,000 Jobs in December

Jan 9, 2018

By Bill Koenig, AdvancedManufacturing.org US manufacturing added 25,000 jobs in December, primarily in durable goods. Makers of durable goods boosted payrolls by 21,000 jobs, according to a breakdown by industry sector released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs gains were widespread throughout durable goods. Major gainers included machinery (up 6000 jobs) and fabricated metal products (up 5400). The only durable goods category posting a job loss was furniture, down 700. The December results capped off a year that saw manufacturing employment expand by 196,000 jobs, of which 130,000 was in durable goods industries. Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs in 2016, the bureau said in a statement. In 2015 and 2016, aerospace and the auto industry were the strongest job performers in manufacturing. During 2017, other industries picked up the pace of job generation. Manufacturing totaled 12.539 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in December. That’s up from 12.514 million in November and 12.343 million in December 2016. Total Jobs Total non-farm employment increased by 148,000 jobs last month, the bureau said in the statement. That was less than the 190,000 median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The US unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%, the bureau said. Manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979 (19.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, 19.7 million unadjusted). That sank to a low of 11.45 million adjusted and 11.34 million unadjusted in February 2010 following a severe recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis. Since that low, new manufacturing jobs have been created requiring increased skills because of increased automation and technology in...

Will Millennials Change Manufacturing?

Will Millennials Change Manufacturing?

Jan 2, 2018

Will Millennials Change Manufacturing?  The largest generation in the U.S. is taking its place in manufacturing — and the experts are betting this tech-savvy cohort is ready to stir things up. By Steve Minter, Industry Week  Dark, dirty and dangerous — mention the 3Ds of old-time manufacturing and HR managers shudder. It’s exactly the image they don’t want the public — or millennials considering careers in manufacturing — to have of the industry. They want to be able to talk about an industry that is attractive and safe, innovative, even cool. So it must gladden the hearts of Lockheed Martin recruiters when Emilee Bianco talks about being “excited” to work at Lockheed Martin Space System’s facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. Bianco, 25, has been working on building solar arrays to power satellites. As a manufacturing engineer, Bianco takes design specifications, puts them into work instructions and then works to ensure that satellite hardware is built correctly. Though she has been working just over a year for Lockheed Martin, she has already been part of a transition to a new type of solar array that uses thin, flexible sheets in place of rigid panels. The flexible arrays produce 50% more power but with 30% less mass. Bianco has also been part of automation efforts where robots are used to place solar cells on panels. Working with Lockheed on space technologies, she says, is “almost a guarantee” that you will be working on cutting-edge projects. Bianco’s generation now makes up the largest in the United States — 83.1 million, according the U.S. Census Bureau versus 75.4 million baby boomers. Not surprisingly, millennials also make up the largest share of the American workforce — one in three workers is a millennial, the Pew Research Center reports. As baby boomers leave the workforce and millennials make up a more significant part of it, many manufacturers believe that this generation will change manufacturing. “Millennials have already started changing the manufacturing and supply chains — and for the better,” says Kathie Karls-Bilski, HR director for 3M Supply Chain. For example, she says that supply chains are becoming more digitized and millennials will foster that change because of their facility with new tech....