Deere & Co. Archives - Shopfloor

Manufacturing, Leading the Economic Recovery

By | Economy, Trade | No Comments

Bloomberg, “Manufacturing Booms as Deere Exemplifies Surge in Productivity“:

Once-ailing manufacturers are enjoying a robust rebound as cost-saving moves from job cuts to a greater reliance on technology help drive stronger-than-forecast growth. The shift has helped set the stage for a potential “manufacturing renaissance,” says James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Minneapolis-based Wells Capital Management. He predicts the industry will set the pace for U.S. expansion and the American stock market during this decade, as technology did in the 1990s.

“Manufacturing is leading the whole economy,” said Paulsen, whose firm oversees about $340 billion. U.S. manufacturers “had to find religion. They’ve really cleaned up their balance sheets. What is left is the cream of the crop.”

Companies mentioned include Timken, the Canton, Ohio-based maker of roller bearings and steels; Materials Processing, Inc., the Logansport, Indiana-based metals-processing company; Siemens Corp., a subsidiary of the Munich-based Siemens AG; Boeing; Deere & Co.; Cooper Industries Plc, Deere & Co. and Kennametal Inc.

The story builds on recent data and reinforces what many National Association of Manufacturers member companies — other than the ones mentioned above — have been reporting. Economists are seeing the same thing; last Friday, The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog rounded up the reaction of top economists, including Sung Won Sohn of the Smith School of Business and Economics. He said: Read More

Infrastructure, Highway Bill Should Be Priorities for Growth

By | Infrastructure, Taxation | No Comments

In his appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday, NAM President John Engler cited the disappointing results of the stimulus bill in arguing for elevating the importance of a long-term highway bill reauthorization that permits investments that support economic growth. From his interview with Becky Quick:

Engler: In the stimulus package, for example, which the NAM took a big leap of faith and we supported that early, but the impact, say, on infrastructure has been pretty negligible. Because the fall-off for local and state revenues for roads and bridges was so precipitous that the federal money really kind of got us back to about level. There was really no net significant gain there.

He did make it clear that the stimulus had merit: What if that spending had not been replaced? But let’s not settle for that inadequate amount.

Engler: I was talking to one of the Senators last week, and he said, you know, some of our prominent road builders in this state are at risk. We need to get that going, so you shouldn’t be delaying …

Quick: At risk because there’s not enough work, or there’s not capital?

Engler: Not enough work. There’s no contracts, there’s no jobs. And we need to have…we shouldn’t be putting off the transportation package for a couple of years. That’s something we ought to be saying: Here’s a seven-year bill. Here’s how much we’re going to ramp that up.

Comments reaffirmed by a Bloomberg story, “Caterpillar, Deere, Missouri Await Road Money as Projects Stall“:

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) — Missouri wants to widen Interstate 70 between St. Louis and Kansas City to get traffic, and jobs, moving again. Construction-equipment makers Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. stand ready to help.

All are being stymied by a legislative deadlock that has stalled projects in Missouri and throughout the U.S. With revenue from fuel taxes declining, lawmakers are arguing over how to renew a six-year, $286.5 billion spending law that expires in six days.

The House yesterday passed a three-month extension of the highway bill, 335-85. The three-month extension is a much better approach than the 18-month extension some in the Senate and the Administration are advocating. The longer-term extension simply delays decisionmaking for the sake of electoral politics, shortchanging the country and basic investment in the process.

WSJ: Manufacturing Exports Drive Local Economies

By | Trade | No Comments

From today’s page one Wall Street Journal, “Exports Prop Up Local Economies“:

Much of the world may be struggling with the economic downturn, but life has been getting better in Columbus, Ind., Kingsport, Tenn., and Waterloo, Iowa.

These out-of-the-way places have become trade hot spots as U.S. exports, fueled by the dollar’s fall, continue to provide a rare spark in an otherwise gloomy economy.

While many economists expect a recent snapback in the value of the dollar and a spreading global slowdown to soften that growth, exports have become a key to greater local prosperity more than at any time in decades.

Columbus, population 40,000, is an export powerhouse thanks largely to diesel-engine maker Cummins Inc., which has added 1,000 jobs there since 2003. Kingsport, population 44,000, is home to Eastman Chemical Co., which is spending $1.3 billion to upgrade its sprawling chemical plant there on the strength of its global sales of plastics and fibers. And Waterloo, population 68,000, owes its healthy export economy to Deere & Co., which has announced its second major investment this year of its tractor plant there.

The stories reaffirms with numerous examples from U.S. manufacturers — and NAM member companies — the themes we emphasize here at the National Association of Manufacturers: U.S. exports are a bright spot in the economy offsetting slowdowns in other sectors, and given their importance it is critically important that Congress enact the three pending Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Peru and South Korea. See our recent Labor Day report for more.

The article by the Journal’s manufacturing reporter, Timothy Aeppel (who consistently writes accurate, interesting stories), concludes with some observations from Drew Greenblatt, owner of Marlin Steel Wire Product in Baltimore, NAM board member, and tireless testifier to the ability of U.S. manufacturing to compete globally:

Marlin has sold baskets in Mexico and Canada for several years and more recently has found customers far beyond, in places like Denmark, Japan, Israel and New Zealand. “But my all-time favorite is Taiwan,” says Mr. Greenblatt. “Think about the concept: There’s a Chinese shipping clerk over there that opened a box and pulled out wire baskets that say ‘Made in U.S.A.'”