Manufacturing recovery shows short-term promise
Following a Commerce Department report that durable good orders rose 3.4% in October, National Association of Manufacturers economist Chi Nguyen said, “America's manufacturing recovery remains on track for now, but its long-term durability may yet be undermined by various policy choices.”
Nguyen noted that aircraft orders led the way with an 11.4% increase, but that excluding transportation, new orders overall were up just 0.3%. She said that October durable goods orders were at the same levels as June, and "this, too, suggests our economy is back on its pre-hurricane recovery track," she said.
"But manufacturers aren't icing champagne or popping corks," added Nguyen."Concerns about rising interest rates could yet erode both business and consumer demand, and increasingly tight energy supplies -- particularly those of natural gas -- will continue to be a problem for the U.S. economy until Congress acts to allow more domestic energy exploration and production."
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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