MAPI — Manufacturers Alliance News and Reports — Productivity Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing and More

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


Issues in the Brief

ISM Report: Still Below 50% but New Orders, Production Growing
“The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reports that the February 2016 index was 49.5%, up from 48.2% in January,” noted Meckstroth. “With the dividing line between growth and decline at 50%, the February report indicates that manufacturing activity is declining slightly.

Out With the Safe Harbor and in With the Privacy Shield?
The European Commission and the United States have agreed on an EU-US Privacy Shield to replace the now-illegal Safe Harbor, the framework commonly used by companies to transfer employee and customer data from the EU to the US. The saga is not over, however, with more government approvals necessary and some Europeans complaining that the plan does not go far enough to protect privacy rights.

Making Your Customers Successful: Q&A With Baltimore Aircoil’s Brad Considine
Brad Considine, who leads Baltimore Aircoil’s global sales and marketing functions, describes the importance of marketing in increasing profits, volume/share, cost reductions and organizational efficiency. In order for marketers to meet their ultimate goal of making their customers successful, Brad argues that “marketing leaders need to be credible business people first.”

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Limits ERISA Plans’ Subrogation Rights
In a decision that adopts the minority position of two courts of appeals out of a total of eight that have ruled on the issue, the Supreme Court held that ERISA health benefit plans may not seek reimbursement from third-party settlements plan participants receive when the participant has spent the funds on nontraceable items. While the case in question concerned a health benefit plan, the implications for other types of ERISA plans, including pension and disability plans, are unclear.


Economic Update

U.S. Industrial Outlook: Manufacturing Production Growth Is Disappointingly Slow
We lower the forecast for this year and next because of the persistent shocks to manufacturing demand; we now see more downside than upside risks. Manufacturing production will decelerate rather than accelerate this year. Production increased 2% last year and we forecast growth of 1.1% in 2016, 2.4% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018.

Time to Restore a Balanced, Rules-Based Multilateral Trading System
The rules-based multilateral trade and financial system created at Bretton Woods in 1944 has been crumbling over the past decade. The WTO trading system to reduce trade barriers on a reciprocal, most-favored-nation basis has been replaced by a spreading network of bilateral and regional preferential trade agreements.

The Manufacturing Value Chain Is Much Bigger Than You Think!
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.

Productivity Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing
Productivity growth in the computer and electronic products subsector, once the principal driver of productivity performance in the manufacturing sector, has experienced significant waning in recent years. Consequently, the U.S. manufacturing productivity outlook has become murky.

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