April MAPI – Manufacturers Alliance Economic News and Reports

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

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Issues in the Brief

Europe Slips in Rankings for Ease of Doing Business

Between 2009 and 2014, international rankings for ease of doing business improved in only about a third of 29 European economies. This would justify the (cautious) concern about European business losing ground in competitiveness. The pro-business climate has decayed more in some countries than in others but the deteriorating trend is consistent across multiple rankings.

Shedding Light: Should the U.S. Export Crude Oil and Petroleum Products?

Increased oil production has led to calls for lifting the ban on oil exports, though some members of Congress are opposed to the idea. Exports, however, would encourage energy development and thus benefit the U.S. economy.

Another Federal Budget Dead on Arrival

The federal budget process has become a farce, and the president’s FY15 proposal, like many before it, isn’t aimed at creating an actual working framework for a fiscal budget. Substantial changes to the process would likely require legislation.

Changing Rules for Foreign Direct Investment in Canada

Over 10 years, the stock of U.S. direct investment in Canada grew continuously, but the U.S. share of Canadian FDI decreased. Changes to Canada’s foreign investment regime may help sustain the upward trend of U.S. investment stock by making it relatively easier for private U.S. businesses to invest in our northern neighbor.

A Jolt of Reality to the Tax Reform Debate

After more than 30 hearings, the creation of numerous subgroups, and a tax reform tour across the country, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released his comprehensive tax reform plan in February. Under the Joint Committee on Taxation’s (JCT) conventional analysis, the proposal would raise about $3 billion in revenue over 10 years.

European Banking Union Deal Underwhelms

The European Council and the European Parliament have “fixed” the original proposal to establish a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM). The original blueprint had been criticized as overly bureaucratic and layered with long chains of decision-making.

 

Economic Update

Global Outlook, February 2014

Russia and the United Kingdom are showing encouraging signs of improvement, while the promising growth in Japan from early last year is slowing. Major East Asian economies outside of China and Japan are experiencing moderate growth, but much will depend on China’s performance. India and other emerging markets are facing both weakness and instability. The emerging market turmoil of recent weeks does not yet rise to the level of global contagion, however.

U.S. Industrial Outlook: A Pause Before an Acceleration

The manufacturing outlook for 2014 and 2015 calls for about a percentage point acceleration in the growth rate each year. An overarching reason for the anticipated rebound is that factors that were dragging down growth were absorbed and will not get worse over the next two years.

Manufacturing Activity March 2014

The Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing output jumped by a surprising 0.8% in February, largely offsetting its 0.9% decline in January. At February’s level of production, the manufacturing sector is 82% recovered from its recession low. Recent trends in key indicators suggest continued momentum in manufacturing activity.

 

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