MAPI — Manufacturers Alliance News and Reports — What’s Ahead in 2017 and More

MAPI Economic Roundtable
A weekly round-up of the MAPI resources available to NFPA members through NFPA’s membership in MAPI. 


Issues in the Brief

MAPI Members Predict: What’s Ahead in 2017?
Even just days into 2017, it seems likely that uncertainty and risk will be year-long themes. MAPI members share insights on how they are preparing for the new year.

Automation Fusion: How Caterpillar & Others Drive Direct and Indirect Channel Revenue
Guest author Laz Gonzalez, Chief Strategy Officer for Zift Solutions, shares a few of his experiences on channel partner marketing for 2017.

A Changing China in an Unsettled World
While there is no debating that China must engage in acceptable trade practices, the world must recognize significant shifts in the Chinese landscape. Far from just slowing, China is seeing changes to its growth composition and to its potential growth that might turn the economic policy focus more inward, although, without a doubt, China will remain a critical player on the global economic stage. A broad understanding of such shifts in the nation is needed for an optimal answer to the “China question.”

Positive News for Manufacturing Growth, With a Caveat
There is good news for manufacturers from the Purchasing Managers’ Index. It rose by 1.5 points in the last month to 56%, continuing its five-month upward trend and indicating a likelihood of U.S. manufacturing growth. However, we should be cautious in the interpretation of this indicator because as history has shown, in uncertain times, we need a fuller set of indicators to forecast growth.

Persistently Positive Job Growth Raises Questions
Yet again, the labor market is the one strong player in an otherwise lackluster economic expansion. After a slowdown in the latter months of 2016, total net new job growth registered an unexpectedly strong 227,000 in January. With the current unemployment rate at 4.8%, this has provoked debates as to whether we have hit a level below which inflation and other expansion-threatening instabilities begin to appear.


Economic Update

U.S. Industrial Outlook: December 2016
Our current five-year forecast is one of persistently sluggish activity. We expect no more than 2% annual growth in U.S. GDP through and including 2020. We predict less than 1% annual growth in U.S. manufacturing output for 2016 and 2017 and then growth of 1% or a little more through and including 2020.

How Important Is U.S. Manufacturing Today?
Manufactured goods are ubiquitous at home, in transit, and at work, but the narrow definition of manufacturing industries in national statistics implies that the sector is of only minor importance to economic activity. The traditional finding is that manufacturers’ proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) is only about 11% and manufacturing’s share of economy-wide full-time equivalent employment is just 9%.

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