MAPI — Manufacturers Alliance News and Reports — Slowing Growth Potential and More

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


Issues in the Brief

Why Is Inventory Performance Declining?
According to MAPI’s new research with PwC, technology isn’t what’s holding most companies back from better inventory management. Instead, management discipline is the culprit, especially surrounding integrated business planning. Complex product portfolios and poor forecasts from marketing and sales also emerged as key factors. Check out the full report for our four suggestions for moving on from mediocrity.

U.S. Trade Deficit in Manufactures Up 16% in the Third Quarter, Chinese Surplus Flat
Ernie examines US and Chinese trade in manufactures for the first three quarters of 2015 and reveals the implications for our bilateral deficit with China. He concludes with an analysis of US trade with the other participants in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Help Wanted: Deep Thinking on Jobs
The short-term analysis employed by pundits does not provide a clear picture on how to translate our slow and steady progress into a stable jobs future. Job creation in the overall American labor market may be a bright spot in a gray global picture, but lingering challenges with labor supply, long-term unemployment and the employment-to-population ratio indicate that the US labor market is far from achieving a healthy balance.

The Causes of Slowing U.S. Growth Potential
In the U.S., potential GDP—the amount output can rise without increasing inflation—has slowed markedly since the 1980s and 1990s, when inflation-adjusted potential GDP was 3.3% a year. The potential growth rate embedded in today’s economic forecasts is much lower

ISM Index: Inventory Adjustment for Manufacturing
“The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reports that the November index was 48.6%, down slightly from 50.1% in October,” noted Daniel J. Meckstroth, vice president and chief economist for the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.

Economic Forecast Shows Strong Consumer Demand Driven by Job Gains
Strong consumer demand driven by job growth should lead to increased manufacturing production through 2017, according to a new forecast.


Economic Update

European Economic Outlook: Manufacturing Recovery Stalls but Consumers Earn More, Spend More
Europe’s recovery may be slow, but production of consumer goods is accelerating. Within manufacturing, employment, hours worked and gross wages are all increasing. Meanwhile, consumer confidence is showing weakness and capital formation has stalled amid fears of instability.

Manufacturing Activity: October 2015
Manufacturing production has been very uneven this year, in part, from swings in the automobile industry, and this trend is indicative of sluggish growth. In September, output declined 0.1%, the strong dollar continued to take a toll on manufacturers and sector employment dropped for the second month in a row.

Q4 2015 Quarterly Forecast for U.S. Economic and Manufacturing Growth
The overall outlook for the U.S. economy, with particular emphasis on the manufacturing sector, for the remainder of 2015 and 2016 highlighting manufacturing’s growth  and challenges for a five-year horizon.

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