March 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.

Issues in the Brief

China’s Economic Reform Proposals Have Strategic Implications for Multinationals

China’s new leaders recently revealed their economic reform agenda for the coming decade, and proposals cover the financial system, fiscal and tax policy, state-owned enterprises, urbanization and inward/outward foreign investment. The upcoming changes present both opportunities and challenges for foreign companies operating in China.

Finding Hidden Value in Your Indirect Spend

A recent survey of 73 CFO, Financial and Purchasing Council members found that the awareness of the importance of indirect spend is high but that the maturity levels of related programs vary. Indirect spend encompasses a company’s expenditures for items, resources and labor not directly tied to product manufacturing. Eighty-seven percent of the companies surveyed have a strategic procurement program in place.

Companies Lay Down the [Intellectual Property] Law

2014 is already shaping up to be a big year in intellectual property news. With battles on trademarks, extensive hacking attempts, and ramifications from counterfeit goods, no company or sector is safe from IP threats.

China’s Local Government Debt Is Not a Major Threat to 2014 Economic Growth

Estimated at RMB 10.7 trillion as of the end of 2010, China’s local government debt has expanded rapidly over the past several years. The country’s fiscal position is not yet an acute concern, however, and will not likely pose immediate threats to economic growth.

U.S. Trade Deficit in Manufactures Surges 9% in Fourth Quarter, Chinese Surplus Up by 10%

The trade figures for 2013 raise important questions about the path ahead for trade in manufactures, both for the U.S. and China. As for U.S. policies to strengthen export competitiveness, little positive change can be expected this year. The outcome will depend on whether companies can work to become more cost competitive.

Europe Slips in Rankings for Ease of Doing Business

Europe’s Great Recession was longer and in some sense more painful than its American equivalent. In addition to the recession itself, some countries went through a crunch on their sovereign debts, shaking the political foundations of the European Union along the way.

Trends in Sustainability Reporting

Sustainable manufacturing is becoming an increasingly imperative goal for companies, with progress, goals, and achievements detailed in corporate annual reports and standalone sustainability reports. To identify common themes within this function, MAPI conducted an independent review of more than 100 online reports from member companies belonging to the Sustainability Council and Environmental, Health, and Safety Council.

Economic Update

The U.S. Economic Outlook for 2014 and 2015

In this audiovisual presentation, Dan notes that the federal shutdown deal and debt ceiling suspension lessen the uncertainty about economic prospects for the next couple of years. The demand mix in manufacturing will grow faster than the demand mix in the economy as a whole, particularly because of durable goods and energy.

European Industrial Outlook: Recovery Still Slow and Hesitant

The Eurozone as well as the entire European Union (EU28) technically dug out of recession when GDP growth turned positive in the second and third quarters of 2013. Yet the Eurozone’s economic activity remains weak. Industrial production fell in four out of the last six months, unemployment topped 12%, and inflation is undershooting the ECB’s target by a full percentage point.

Manufacturing Activity January 2014

Vice President and Chief Economist Dan Meckstroth reviews the most recent manufacturing data. Manufacturing production grew at a rapid rate, capacity utilization increased, exports are growing at a modest rate (but the trade deficit is not getting worse), capital equipment orders strengthened, and the manufacturing sectors continues to add jobs. The biggest constraint now is uncertainty about federal government finances and regulation.

Manufacturing Facts: A New MAPI Production, is a collection of the key facts and figures that define the state of the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing Facts: Industrial Sector Energy Use Returning to 1975 Levels While Other Sectors Increase


Available for NFPA member companies’ exclusive, confidential, internal use only. No one may make or distribute copies or reuse all or any part of this report without the written permission of NFPA.
This report is made available by NFPA as a service to the fluid power industry and contains information provided by companies in the industry. NFPA does not recommend or endorse any particular use of this report. NFPA, its directors, members and employees are not responsible for errors or omissions in the report or for loss arising from its use and disclaim all warranties and guarantees, express or implied, with respect to the information in this report.



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