MAPI — Manufacturers Alliance News and Reports — 8 Positive Outlook Trends and More

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


Issues in the Brief

8 Positive Trends in the Economic Outlook
Chief Economist Dan Meckstroth identifies some encouraging factors in the five-year global economic outlook that will help counteract tighter financial conditions, diverse geopolitical risks and protracted slowdowns in emerging economies.

New Overtime Rule to Affect Millions of Workers
The Department of Labor’s changes to salary thresholds and the salary level test will extend overtime pay protections to many workers and encourage employers to reevaluate how they pay and schedule their employees.

The Curious Case of the Missing Productivity
Here’s a conundrum: why has the United States been recording very low productivity growth since 2011 when growth in employment and GDP suggest it should be substantially higher? Statistical limitations are not likely to be the culprit.

14 Downside Risks to Global Manufacturing Growth
Risk aversion, high unemployment, growth slowdowns, recessions and geopolitical crises in key global economies are just a few of the factors holding back global growth, according to Chief Economist Dan Meckstroth. Overall, tighter financial conditions are leading to stock market corrections and a loss of confidence.

It’s Simple: Weak Growth, Weak Jobs
Employment data paint a clear and consistent picture of weakness. As we continue to confront structural constraints, labor supply problems and a slide in productivity, it’s time to realize that the American economy is not in good shape.

The $15 Trillion U.S. Foreign Debt
Little attention is paid to the 75% of the federal debt held by foreign interests. A financial storm cloud faces the global economy, posing a fatal threat to the dollarized financial system.

5 Trends in the HVAC Industry
Chief Economist Dan Meckstroth takes a look at the outlook for HVAC, drawing on his recent presentation to Baltimore Aircoil and his U.S. Industrial Outlook. The industry is facing a worsening deficit but is seeing a boost from the construction of buildings.


Economic Update

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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