In a heated economy, profits start to droop
The Commerce Department recently reported that U.S. corporate profits (after tax) declined by 1.2% during the first quarter of 1998. This drop follows a decline of 2.
The Commerce Department recently reported that U.S. corporate profits (after tax) declined by 1.2% during the first quarter of 1998. This drop follows a decline of 2.3% over the final quarter of 1997, and shows the extent to which higher wage costs and slower export sales are eroding corporate cash flow. Revised first quarter corporate profits registered at $477.9 billion (after tax), $125.7 billion or 26% of which remained as undistributed profits. The majority of the total profits, 73%, were paid out in dividends.
Over the 5-yr period beginning in 1992, profits recorded an annual average growth rate of 13.2%. After-tax profit growth slowed to 7.3% during 1997 -- a level still sufficient to fuel strong capital spending and to reward investors generously. The past two quarters probably overstate the degree of weakness in the long-term profit growth, but look for profit gains to average about 4% during 1998-1999.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey