National Association of Manufacturers President John Engler was in the Twin Cities this week, and he sat down with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s manufacturing reporter, Liz Fedor, for an interview. The result is a solid, big picture overview of the top issues facing the U.S. manufacturing sector.
From “High Noon in Washington, D.C.“:
Q Manufacturing output has increased slightly in the United States in the past few months. What kind of recovery do you envision in the manufacturing sector during 2010?
A I hope that there continues to be a recovery. I expect it unfortunately will be slower than we would like. There is some inventory rebuilding underway now. We would really get a lift if the housing sector were clearly stabilized. Even as we look at some manufacturing growth, we still have a question of where is the demand going to be. It doesn’t look like it is going to come from the consumers.
Productivity is rapidly rising, even as factory utilization stands at 67.5 percent, and “there is a lot of production that can be achieved without very much hiring,” Engler observed.
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