Issues in Brief
Investment Medicine for a Struggling Economy
Nearly five years past the trough of the Great Recession, the U.S. economy still finds itself in a post-crisis era. Economic growth has been persistently sluggish, averaging 2.3% between 2010 and 2013, far weaker than comparable periods following the recessions of the past four decades.
Expectations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Need to Know. . . A third of MAPI members see benefits from TTIP; By a ratio of 4 to 1, MAPI members distrust the EU-supported precautionary principle as opposed to the U.S. preference for a risk assessment approach; Only 15% of respondents have contacted trade groups, legal advisors, or consultants to share views on TTIP.
New EU Parliament Is Bad News for the U.S.
The EU went to the polls last Sunday to elect its members of European Parliament (MEPs). The traditional political split between the moderately conservative European People Party (EPP) and the moderately left-of-center Socialists and Democrats (S&D) has held. The two parties polled about 53% of the vote, down slightly from the combined total of 59% obtained in 1999 during the previous election.
Manufacturing a New Middle Class
The irony isn’t lost on manufacturing leaders—while colleges produce a record number of graduates, executives report that many hourly and salaried job candidates are underqualified and not workforce ready. More than a quarter of companies say this mismatch leads to a high degree of difficulty hiring workers and 80% believe it will continue to hinder hiring in North America over the next 5 to 10 years.
Europe’s Recovery Continues at Only Modest Pace
Senior Economist Kris Bledowski believes the European economic picture improved somewhat over the past year, with output growth finally taking off. At the same time, other indicators paint a darker picture, such as falling prices and dwindling credit.
U.S. Manufacturing Update April 2014
Manufacturing output growth was a relatively strong 0.5% in March. And during the most recent three months (to March), growth was a moderate 2.7%, measured on a year-over-year basis. Slow recent growth has thus far prevented the U.S. manufacturing sector from fully regaining the output that was lost in the 2007-2009 recession, but full recovery is within sight: manufacturing is now 89.8% recovered.
U.S. Trade Deficit in Manufactures Up by 8% in the First Quarter, Chinese Surplus Down by 8%
The U.S. trade deficit in manufactures rose by $8.1 billion, or 8%, in the first quarter, compared with 2013, following the 9% surge in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Chinese trade surplus, however, which soared by 10% during calendar year 2013, to $913 billion, declined by $16.3 billion, or 8%, in the first quarter of 2014.