Less, more: NEMA cites less confidence; NAM sees more exports of manufactured goods
A NEMA index for confidence in current North American business dropped for the second straight month in July; National Association of Manufacturers called an export surge as phenomenal, overcoming a....
Rosslyn, VA – The NEMA Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI ) for current North American conditions dropped for the second straight month in July, by more than 4 points to 33.3. The index in 13 of the last 15 months was at or below 50 points, indicating a continuing period of weak business conditions. In related news, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) characterized a surge in exports as phenomenal. Recent Commerce Department trade numbers week reported U.S. exports of manufactured goods are overcoming a dismal growth rate and are among the strongest parts of the trade scenario.
The NEMA survey’s measure of the mean intensity of change in current conditions decreased last month from -0.7, from -0.3 in June (on a scale ranging from–5 [deteriorated significantly] through 0 to +5 [improved significantly]).
The index for the upcoming North American business climate reversed a short string of gains in July, dropping 6+ points to 31.25. Although above April’s 19-month low of 29.5, the index anticipates contraction in the sector in the next six months.
Business confidence indexes for the survey’s other three world regions dropped in July compared to June, NEMA said.
About the exports, NAM said , “June manufactured goods exports were a phenomenal 17.4% higher than a year ago.” NAM vice president for International Economic Affairs Frank Vargo, continued: “Manufactured goods exports are growing more than twice as fast as imports of manufactured goods, and as a result the manufactured goods trade deficit is falling. June’s manufactured goods trade deficit in fact was 9% lower than it was a year ago. Chemicals, industrial machinery, and primary metal products are among the real export stand-outs so far this year . . . America is the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods and one of the world’s largest exporters of manufactured goods. The performance of manufactured goods trade is so strong that it is a major offset to the rising deficit in petroleum.” NAM provides more information modern manufacturing .
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.