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New York Manufacturers Expanded Again in January After Contracting in December

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey found that activity expanded again in January after contracting slightly in December. The New York Federal Reserve Bank’s composite index rose from -1.2 in December to 10.0 in January. (Note that historical data were revised this month to incorporate new seasonal adjustments.)

This was good news and a positive way to begin 2015, with increased sales (up from 0.4 to 6.1), shipments (up from 2.6 to 9.6) and employment (up from 8.3 to 13.7). Indeed, one-third of those responding to the survey said that there were increased new orders in January, up from 26.0 percent in December. Still, the average employee workweek 8.4) (up from -11.5 to -continue to narrow, despite some progress for the month. The workweek should begin to improve, however, with increased activity. (continue reading…)

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Producer Prices for Final Demand Goods Declined in December for the Sixth Straight Month

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that producer prices for final demand goods and services decreased 0.3 percent in December. Looking just at goods, producer prices for final demand items have now fallen for six consecutive months, down 3.0 percent over that time frame. A large part of that decline, of course, stemmed from sharply lower petroleum prices. Producer prices for energy goods were off 6.6 percent in December, with a 14.8 percent decline since June. This has generally helped to push inflationary pressures lower.  (continue reading…)

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NAM in the NEWS: Why Manufacturing Still Counts

Today, Wall Street Journal reporter Bob Hagerty published a series of articles highlighting the growing strength of the manufacturing sector. Although in recent years, the U.S. economy has seen a rise in service work, manufacturing continues to be a driver of growth, especially for the middle class. With the growing American energy renaissance, manufacturing jobs remain a source of good paying jobs averaging $36.37 in wages and benefits. (continue reading…)

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Small Businesses Ended the Year on a High Note

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism soared in December, ending the year on a high note. The Small Business Optimism Index rose from 98.1 in November to 100.4 in December, its highest level since October 2006. Moreover, sentiment has increased significantly since earlier in the year, when the index bottomed out at 91.4 in February. Historically, the small business sector has expanded strongly when the Optimism Index has exceeded 100, so this is an important threshold. As such, the findings were similar to the latest NAM/IndustryWeek survey, which reported 91.2 percent of manufacturers being positive in their outlook in December. (continue reading…)

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114th Congress Opens with TRIA Extension, End-User Fix

The new Congress commenced this week with the swift approval of two pro-manufacturing issues contained in a single piece of legislation, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 26). H.R 26 not only extended the important TRIA program, but also contained a much-needed clarification to the Dodd-Frank Act. (continue reading…)

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TPA Essential for Manufacturing Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness

The typical trade opponents are at it again. But they’re still wrong on policy and out of step with the American people, President Obama and Congressional Leaders.

Just this week, Senators McConnell, Hatch and Thune pledged action on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from the U.S. Senate. House leadership has long supported the renewal of TPA and President Obama has pledged his commitment to work with lawmakers to pass TPA.

The simple truth is that Trade Promotion Authority  is essential to open new overseas markets and level the playing field for manufacturers in the United States and the millions of workers they employ. (continue reading…)

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Congress Gets Right to Work on Job-Creating Project

It’s the first full week of the New Year and the 114th Congress is wasting no time getting to work on approving a project that will increase our energy independence and create jobs throughout the manufacturing supply chain: Keystone XL Pipeline. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – January 5, 2015

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

Growth in manufacturing activity slowed somewhat in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The headline purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped from 58.7 in November to 55.5 in December, its lowest level in six months. Slower global growth, reduced commodity prices and the West Coast ports slowdown were cited in the ISM report as reasons for the decline. While this report was disappointing, it is notable that the lower figure followed several months of very healthy expansions in both new orders and production, and manufacturers were more upbeat at year’s end than earlier in the year. The manufacturing PMI data averaged 57.7 in the second half of 2014, an improvement from the 54.0 average observed in the first half. (continue reading…)

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Want to Add Billions to U.S. Exports? Eliminate Discriminatory Barriers and Boost IP Protection in India

If India removed discriminatory barriers and improved intellectual property protection, U.S. exports to that country would rise by two-thirds (the equivalent of $14.4 billion, based on 2013 data) and U.S. investment would roughly double. That’s the stunning conclusion of a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) study out today on the impact of India’s trade, investment and industrial policies on the U.S. economy.

The ITC’s results confirm what manufacturers have long known – India’s unfair policies increasingly are harming U.S. exports of a wide array of products, costing jobs and growth in both countries. The results provide a powerful roadmap for change as U.S. and Indian officials continue to work toward stronger bilateral commercial ties through the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum and the High-Level Working Group on Intellectual Property. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – December 22, 2014

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

Manufacturing production was up sharply in November, with output increasing 1.1 percent for the month and 4.8 percent year-over-year. These healthy gains followed a softer-than-desired autumn, and we hope it suggests that production figures will begin to match the relative optimism regarding expected demand and output seen in a number of sentiment surveys, including the latest NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers. Capacity utilization for the sector was also higher, up from 77.6 percent in October to 78.4 percent in November. This was the highest utilization rate since December 2007, the first month of the Great Recession. Moreover, total industrial production rose 1.3 percent, with utility output in November also up significantly. Mining production was down for the month, but up a whopping 9.3 percent over the past 12 months, with the sector benefiting from increased energy exploration. (continue reading…)

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