MAPI — Manufacturers Alliance News and Reports — Automation Investment in U.S. Manufacturing and More

A weekly round-up of the MAPI resources available to NFPA members through NFPA’s membership in MAPI. (Updated 9/15/2016)

MAPI

Issues in the Brief

Decision Criteria for New Technology Investment
In the case of new technology investment, the cost side of the return-on-investment equation contains a larger and broader set of factors than is the case with a fixed technology frontier, under which all technologies are known as previously employed capital. But the benefits of a new technology investment are potentially as broad as the costs. In essence, the diffusion implications of the cost–benefit balance for new technology investment depend on corporate decision-maker flexibility regarding the payback period of the investment and an adjustment to the propensity to take a wait-and-see posture toward purchase and implementation.

Q&A: Brexit’s Risks and Possibilities
Cliff Waldman discusses MAPI member reactions to the Brexit, London’s status as a financial center, market reactions, changes in regulatory structure, and the effects of monetary policy accommodation.

Drive Faster Growth With Better Channel Partner Collaboration
For companies that sell through distribution, the world is in upheaval. Nearly three-quarters of manufacturers have seen their distribution base consolidate in the last year.

My Farewell Report on U.S. Trade in Manufactures
This MAPI Foundation report, on U.S. and Chinese trade in manufactures during the first half of 2016, provides a breakout of U.S. bilateral trade with China and Mexico, which has become a contentious electoral issue.  As will be seen, the two bilateral deficits are critically different in terms of trade composition and policy relationships.

 

Economic Update

How Important Is U.S. Manufacturing Today?[Added 9/15/2016]
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%.

Automation Investment in U.S. Manufacturing: An Empirical Picture
Cliff analyzes the results of a national survey of US manufacturers that was designed to produce data on their automation investment behavior. His report offers a revealing look at the extent of automation investment, short-term plans, the relationship of automation to a broader corporate technology strategy, drivers of automation activity and the criterion that manufacturers use for evaluating new automation capital. The report also offers stratifications of survey results by size and industry.

U.S. Industrial Outlook: Shaking Off the Shocks
We lowered our forecast for manufacturing production to only 0.4% growth in 2016. The negative effects of high inventories, the strong dollar and low commodity prices have eased but are still a drag on growth. We now predict that manufacturing will not fully recover from the recession until the third quarter of 2018.

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