ISM: Manufacturing Activity Expanded at Fastest Pace in 16 Months in June

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) said that manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in 14 months. The composite index rose from 51.3 in May to 53.2 in June. Strong growth in new orders (up from 55.7 to 57.0) and production (up from 52.6 to 54.7) helped to boost the headline number by more than expected. Notably, exports (up from 52.5 to 53.5) also improved in this report, which was encouraging given recent struggles in increasing demand abroad. More importantly, this was the fourth consecutive month with manufacturing activity expanding, signaling some stabilization in the sector after five months in contraction in the months prior to that. Read More

Driving a Global Movement to Zero Waste

By | General, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Sustainability | No Comments


This guest blog post is authored by John Bradburn, GM global manager of waste reduction. It is the inaugural blog post in the NAM’s Manufacturing a Sustainable Future Blog Series. 

It’s an exciting time to be working in the automotive industry. Our Chairman and CEO Mary Barra believes the industry will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. GM is restructuring its portfolio to maximize vehicle efficiencies, electrifying vehicles, and providing connectivity solutions that promote sustainability.
All of this transformation includes our operations and how we make our products. We are committed to responsible manufacturing that conserves our industry’s vital resources. Read More

Section 385: From Debt to Equity – Listen to NAM’s Latest Tax Podcast

By | General, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Taxation | No Comments

Though released as part of a package designed to curb cross-border mergers, the Treasury’s broad regulations do little to stop this activity. Instead, these efforts will have a significant negative impact on manufacturers in the United States while stifling investments, job creation and economic growth.

In this week’s Shopfloor Podcast, Dorothy Coleman, Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy, and Carolyn Lee, Senior Director of Tax Policy, discuss the implications of these regulations.

Real GDP Growth Improved to 1.1 Percent in the First Quarter

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that real GDP grew by 1.1 percent in the first quarter, improving from the prior estimate of 0.8 percent. The revision included better data on nonresidential fixed investment and exports that previously reported, but it also found that consumer spending on services did not grow as fast as once thought either. Nonetheless, the bottom line was largely the same. The U.S. economy experienced relatively sluggish growth in the first quarter thanks to stagnant spending on consumer goods, declining business investment and still-soft export growth, even with improvements in this latest report. Read More

On the Day of the “Brexit” Vote, News that Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Turned Higher in June

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose from 51.5 in May to 52.6 in June, its highest level so far in 2016. The irony is that this news came out on the day of the “Brexit” vote, with the United Kingdom deciding whether or not to leave the European Union. Along those lines, the Markit Flash Eurozone Composite PMI, which includes services, declined from 53.1 to 52.8, its lowest point since January 2015. As such, even with encouraging industrial news, overall economic sentiment remained mixed, with modest growth that has slowed so far this year. Uncertainties related to the “Brexit” vote, combined with global headwinds, have added to those anxieties.

Nonetheless, manufacturers reported faster expansions for new orders (up from 51.7 to 53.4), exports (up from 50.9 to 52.5), output (up from 52.4 to 53.8) and employment (up from 51.2 to 52.1) in June. Demand and production grew at their fastest rate since December, recovering from the lull in May, which had been the slowest pace year-to-date. Overall, though, Eurozone manufacturers have now reported growth in the sector in every month since June 2013. Read More

Senate Committee Discusses Ozone Implementation Relief

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers are encouraged today to see leaders on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hold a meaningful hearing on ways to ease the implementation burdens from EPA’s 2015 ozone regulation. Manufacturers across the United States have shown that environmental progress and job creation can go hand in hand, but the ozone standards finalized by the Administration last fall takes us further from that goal. By setting the strictest ozone standards ever at a time when states and manufacturers were still working towards meeting the existing requirements, the Administration decided to add another layer of red-tape to job creation and economic progress.

The objectives of both bills discussed at today’s hearing— Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) S. 2882, the Senate companion bill to the House-passed H.R. 4775, and S. 2072, a bill offered by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO)—would help ease the burden from the ozone rule while ensuring our nation’s air quality continues to improve.

At the hearing, Glenn Hamer, President of the Arizona  Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is the NAM state allied group in Arizona spoke to the challenges business and manufacturers in his state face to implement this regulation. Earlier this year, Hamer and NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons co-authored an op-ed highlighting those roadblocks to growth.

Ozone 70 Infographics (700x350)

Manufacturers encourage Senate leaders to continue working to address these issues and ultimately bring an ozone implementation relief bill to the floor for passage

NAM Supports Healthcare Flexibility for Small Manufacturers

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Today the House is considering positive legislation which allows small employers the flexibility to offer pre-tax dollars to help pay premiums and/or other out-of-pocket costs associated with medical care and services. The Small Business Health Care Relief Act (H.R. 5447), sponsored by Reps. Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) allows employers with less than 50 employees to provide Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees with health insurance.

Effective July 1, 2015  an Internal Revenue Service guidance placed a  $100 per day, per employee penalty for employers that fail to offer a group health plan, but provide tax preferred dollars through an HRA for their workers to pay health insurance premiums or other direct medical expenses. The Small Business Health Care Relief Act allows small businesses – that are not required by the Affordable Care Act to provide health insurance — to provide some assistance to their employees and provide these HRAs. This simple, logical and bi-partisan change will increase coverage, improve flexibility and promote wellness for manufacturers and other small employers.

The NAM recently signed onto a letter encouraging passage of this legislation in the House and we urge action in the Senate.

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Amendments to Promote Engagement with Cuba

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved four amendments related to Cuba during today’s mark-up of the FY2017 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act, including the following:

  • An amendment to lift the ban on private-sector agriculture export financing and to end the “180 day rule” for vessels that stop at a Cuban port, offered by FSGG Subcommittee Chairman John Boozman (R-AR) and Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL); approved by a vote of 22-8
  • An amendment to lift the travel ban, offered by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Durbin; approved by voice vote
  • An amendment to allow U.S. companies to export consumer communications devices and telecommunications services to Cuba, offered by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM); approved by voice vote
  • An amendment to allow flights bound for Cuba to make technical stops at American airports, offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME); approved by voice vote

The NAM sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee this week in support of the amendments. Read More

Tax and Regulatory Burdens Still Top of Manufacturers’ Minds

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Taxation | No Comments

Earlier today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of its second quarter 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, showing an uptick in overall sentiment. In this survey, 61.7 percent of manufacturers expressed positivity about their own company’s outlook, up from 56.6 percent in March. This marks the most optimistic manufacturers have been since December 2015.

However, NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray said, “While this survey offers a bit of optimism for manufacturers, there is still a dramatic need for improvement before our sector can regain its footing. This survey, coupled with the latest jobs report, should serve as a stark reminder to Congress that policy priorities, including market-opening trade agreements and comprehensive tax reform as well as addressing regulatory barriers, are top of manufacturers’ minds. If lawmakers in Washington take action on these and other items, they could help reverse the pain manufacturers are experiencing, expanding job opportunities and strengthening the broader economy as a result.” Read More