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Law Enforcement Leader Calls for Action on LEADS Act

Manufacturers are technology companies. Dispel all thoughts of dirty, dusty shop floors and walk into the state of the art facilities our manufacturers use today. With the advent on the internet and now the internet of things, technology is seamlessly integrated throughout modern manufacturing products and processes. With this integration comes the responsibility to keep that technology, the data it creates, and the communication around it secure and private. (continue reading…)

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Nothing Happens Unless We Press the “Start” Button

This week, the NAM Board of Directors gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the work manufacturers are doing to ensure a resilient and robust sector and to address the challenges we face, including a growing regulatory burden and mounting uncertainty. At the meeting, two new videos highlighting last month’s impactful State of Manufacturing Tour, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons’ President’s Report to the Board and the introduction of the NAM’s new Board Chair Gregg Sherrill’s Chairman’s Plan were unveiled: (continue reading…)

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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…)

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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, its 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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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