Manufacturers expanding at fastest pace in three years…

Manufacturers expanding at fastest pace in three years…

Apr 25, 2018

“Manufacturers expanding at fastest pace in three years, flash PMI data show” By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch U.S. economy is speeding up again, but inflation is warming up too, IHS Markit finds The numbers: American companies grew faster in April, especially manufacturers, in a reflection of a steadily expanding U.S. economy. But inflationary pressures increased as well. The flash IHS Markit U.S. manufacturing PMI climbed to 56.5 this month from 55.5 and touched a three-and-a-half-year high. Readings over 50 indicate expansion. A similar survey of service-oriented businesses that employ most Americans also rose. It edged up to 54.4 from 54. A flash reading is typically based on approximately 85%–90% of responses each month. At the same time, the survey showed the cost of raw or partly finished materials increased at the fastest pace in almost five years. Firms said the recently announced White House tariffs on steel as well as a large basket of Chinese goods were partly to blame. What happened: Businesses boosted production in April to match an increase in new orders. Companies also acted more aggressively to secure materials from suppliers because they are taking longer to deliver them. That suggests companies are running into bottlenecks, a potential hurdle for the economy if the situation gets worse. Tight supplies also mean higher prices — aka inflation. Even with new orders increasing, companies eased back on hiring. They focused more on improving efficiency — no surprise given a growing shortage of skilled labor. Big picture: The economy is ramping up for a strong spring, but shortages of skilled labor, rising inflation and the threat of widespread tariffs could put a cap on U.S. growth despite recent tax cuts and higher federal spending. Higher inflation could also spur the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more aggressively, another potential drag on faster U.S. growth. What are they saying?: “After a relatively disappointing start to the year, the second quarter should prove a lot more encouraging,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS...

Raising the Alarm for US Manufacturing

Raising the Alarm for US Manufacturing

Feb 7, 2018

By Steve Minter, IndustryWeek Rebuild Manufacturing: The Key to American Prosperity In her latest book chronicling the state of U.S. manufacturing and the policy changes needed to shore up the sector, Michele Nash-Hoff, a contributor to IndustryWeek, notes that one of her ancestors was Paul Revere. While Nash-Hoff has not been galloping through the Massachusetts countryside warning of British troops, she has been crisscrossing the United States in recent years visiting American factories, warning of threats to domestic manufacturing and offering advice on how to rebuild the manufacturing ecosystem. Paul Revere, a celebrated silversmith who also ran a foundry after the Revolutionary War, would be proud. Rebuild Manufacturing (Coalition for a Prosperous America, 2017) starts off with a recounting of statistics that are familiar to many manufacturers but still shocking. The U.S. lost 5.86 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and early 2010, or roughly the populations of Chicago, Houston and Indianapolis combined. During that decade, the U.S. lost 57,000 manufacturing firms. Throughout this period and for a considerable time before, educators and parents were watching (or experiencing) what was happening in manufacturing. The lesson they imparted to countless kids: Manufacturing has no future in the U.S. and neither will you if you choose a career in a factory. Thanks to a long recovery beginning in the Obama administration and continuing in the Trump presidency, manufacturing is coming back, though that journey is far from over. Activists such as Nash-Hoff have helped turn the tide against the popular belief in Washington and other centers of economic thought that the U.S. had grown out of the need for manufacturing. It is increasingly clear that a vibrant manufacturing sector is crucial to a healthy and growing U.S. economy. In Rebuild Manufacturing, Nash-Hoff offers a wealth of information and recommendations on what can be done to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. She points the finger repeatedly at the huge trade imbalance with a mercantilist China (in 2017, nearly $309 billion through October) and calls for action by Trump and Congress to fight intellectual property theft and take a much tougher stand against acquisitions of American companies by Chinese firms. “Letting Chinese corporations acquire American companies, especially energy or technology-based companies is the biggest threat...

Trump highlights Staub Manufacturing Solutions at SOTU

Trump highlights Staub Manufacturing Solutions at SOTU

Jan 31, 2018

  Featured on Fox News   President shares company’s story during address and invites members to the White House.     Watch the latest video at...

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...