General

Employers Support Medicare Advantage

The below joint blog post is authored by Joe Trauger, National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Human Resources Policy and Katie Mahoney, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director of Health Policy. 

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposal that would reduce reimbursements to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by about 1 percent. While that may not seem like a big change, it is on top of more than 10 percent in reductions to the program the previous two years – and 14 percent since 2010. This is troublesome for the MA program and those who support it, including businesses. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


ISM: Manufacturing Activity Weakened in February on West Coast Ports, Reduced Energy Prices

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said that growth in manufacturing activity has continued to slow over the past few months, starting 2015 off on a weaker note. The headline purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has fallen from 57.9 in October to 52.9 in February, it slowest pace since January 2014, when severe winter storms dampened activity across-the-board. The sample comments suggest that the West Coast ports slowdown and falling energy prices were top-of-mind for many of the respondents, helping to explain much of this easing. At the same time, the stronger U.S. dollar and sluggish growth abroad were also likely factors, with export orders (down from 49.5 to 48.5) declining for the second straight month.  (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Personal Spending Fell in January for the Second Straight Month

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending decreased by 0.2 percent in January, falling for the second straight month. Durable and nondurable goods spending were also lower in both December and January, and these data suggest that Americans remain cautious in their spending. Of course, there could also be other factors at play, such as lower gasoline prices and heavy snow storms in some regions of the country. Still, on a year-over-year basis, personal spending has increased 3.6 percent, a fairly decent growth rate. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Monday Economic Report – March 2, 2015

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

While manufacturers remain mostly optimistic in their outlook, we have seen softness in a number of recent economic indicators. Slower economic growth internationally, a stronger U.S. dollar, reduced crude oil prices and the West Coast ports slowdown have been cited as reasons for this weaker-than-desired performance. Along those lines, real GDP growth in the fourth quarter was revised lower, down from 2.6 percent to 2.2 percent. In addition, surveys from the Dallas, Kansas City and Richmond Federal Reserve Banks all reflected decelerated levels of new orders and exports. Most notably, Texas manufacturers have been adversely impacted by the sharp drop in petroleum prices, dampening demand throughout the energy supply chain and for the larger regional economy. Yet, even in the Dallas report, respondents continued to be more positive than negative in their expectations for sales, production, employment and capital spending over the next six months. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Three Facts Apologists for Foreign Mistreatment of U.S. Manufacturers Should at Least Acknowledge

There are lots of different views on trade and investment within Washington and across the country but opponents of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) continue to ignore and blatantly misstate objective and basic facts. This anti-ISDS campaign seeks to deny job creators in the United States with the basic enforcement tools needed to ensure fair treatment and a more level playing field overseas. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


We Hate to Say “We Told You So…”

Last summer, the NAM released a study, conducted in partnership with NERA Economic Consulting, regarding the economic impacts of an ozone standard tightened to 60 parts per billion (ppb). We found that the rule, which at the time had not yet been proposed, would amount to the costliest rule in American history if advanced. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


McCarthy Comments Show EPA Disconnect on Ozone

When EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took to the Hill today to defend the Agency’s clean air agenda amid budget season, lawmakers asked some pointed questions regarding the wisdom of the EPA’s plan to revise ground-level ozone standards while existing standards are still being implemented. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Chinese Manufacturing Shifted to a Marginal Expansion in February

The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI shifted to a marginal expansion in February, improving slightly after contracting for two straight months. The headline index increased from 49.7 in January to 50.1 in February. The underlying data were mixed. New orders (down from 50.8 to 50.4) and output (up from 50.1 to 50.8) grew slowly for the month, even as the pace of sales slipped a bit. At the same time, new export orders (down from 51.1 to 47.1) and employment (up from 49.1 to 49.3) declined on net. Export sales, in particularly, deteriorated to their lowest level since August 2013, which was disappointing. The index for hiring, which has contracted now for 24 consecutive months, increased to a 7-month high, with the pace of the decline decreasing. Final PMI data will be come out on Monday, March 2.    (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Dallas Fed: Manufacturing Activity Contracted in February for Second Straight Month

The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity contracted in its district for the second straight month. The composite index of general business conditions fell from -4.4 in January to -11.2 in February, its lowest level since April 2013. Reduced crude oil prices have had negative ripple effects throughout the Texas economy, and indeed, many of the sample comments reflected weaker demand throughout the energy supply chain. Beyond energy-related softness, other challenges noted in the comments included the West Coast ports slowdown, a stronger U.S. dollar, increased health insurance costs and regulatory burdens. (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


Monday Economic Report – February 23, 2015

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

In the minutes of its January 27–28 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) provided a nuanced view of the economic outlook. Participants noted that “economic activity had been expanding at a solid pace,” and they were mostly optimistic about the “prospects for further improvement in 2015.” Yet, the FOMC also pointed to some significant headwinds in the U.S. economy, including sluggish global growth, a stronger U.S. dollar, federal government sequestration and reduced crude oil prices. Regarding the latter, the Federal Reserve said that it was concerned that “persistently low energy prices might prompt a larger retrenchment of employment [and capital investment] in these industries.” (continue reading…)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


A Manufacturing Blog

  • Categories

  • Connect With Manufacturers

            
  • Blogroll