Tag: European Union

Global Manufacturing Economic Update – April 12, 2013

Here is the summary from this month’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update:

The global economy has seen some progress since last fall, but growth remains modest at best. There is also a “two steps forward, one step back” feel to some of the latest data. Six of the top 10 markets for U.S.-manufactured goods expanded in March, according to Markit. This is down from seven last month, but up from four last October. Canada, our largest trading partner, saw its manufacturing activity decline, with weaknesses in new orders, exports and hiring. Softness in the United States and Europe were cited as factors.

The other three markets with contracting sales, output and employment levels were in Europe, with its economic downturn widening. The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell from 47.9 in February to 46.8 in March. This index has now contracted for 20 straight months, with little hope of improving anytime soon. While many of the recent headlines have surrounded the failure of the banks in Cyprus or the inconclusive Italian elections, the challenges are ones that confront the entire continent. The unemployment rate has risen to 12 percent, with more than one-quarter of the working population in Greece and Spain out of work, and real GDP is expected to contract throughout the year. This morning, we should learn even more about the manufacturing sector in Europe when new data on industrial production will be released. The data are expected to show a slight decline. (continue reading…)

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


Monday Economic Report – November 13, 2012

Below is the summary from this week’s Monday Economic Report:

Before we could fully process the outcome of last week’s election, policymakers and financial markets began to focus immediately on the looming fiscal cliff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over three percent between its closes on Tuesday and Friday, and the Congressional Budget Office reiterated its forecast that the United States would fall back into a recession if lawmakers fail to avert the fiscal cliff. For their part, both President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) spoke of a possible compromise post-election, with Speaker Boehner open to “new revenues” stemming from tax reform and the President eager to work with Congress while also restating his desire for a “balanced approach” to reducing the deficit. Manufacturers will be watching these developments closely, as the uncertain business and political environment has dampened economic growth of late. For example, the number of manufacturing job postings in September fell for the fourth straight month.

Economic challenges are not limited to the United States, with European woes once again coming into focus. September’s industrial production figures released last week were lower in Spain (down 7.0 percent), France (down 2.7 percent), Germany (down 1.8 percent), the United Kingdom (down 1.8 percent) and Italy (down 1.5 percent). Other data also indicate that economic activity in the Eurozone deteriorated, with higher unemployment, a contracting Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and lower retail sales. Eurozone GDP figures will be released on Thursday and are expected to be down roughly 0.3 percent.

Despite significant headwinds in the United States and Europe, manufacturers increased exports in September. Goods exports rose to $134.0 billion—an all-time high—and the overall trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion. The gain stemmed from both petroleum and nonpetroleum exports, with many regions around the world increasing trade. (Exports to Europe were flat for the month.) Manufactured goods exports rose 6.1 percent year-over-year. Recent progress on the trade front can be attributed to some improvements (even among definite weaknesses) globally. For instance, industrial production in China edged higher (up 9.6 percent year-over-year), its highest level since May. This follows better (but still contracting) PMI data out earlier in the month.

New U.S. industrial production data on Friday should show modest growth for the second month in a row. In addition, regional manufacturing surveys from the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Banks will be released on Thursday. Both improved in October, although the Empire State survey still contracted. It will be interesting to see if the data reflect continued gains. Other highlights for this week include consumer and producer prices, retail sales and small business optimism.

Chad Moutray is the chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers.

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


Manufactured Goods Deficit Rises, but Free Trade Records Surplus

Today’s international trade numbers released by the U.S. Department of Commerce (here) show our U.S. manufactured goods trade deficit continues to grow, but that  manufactured goods still retain their dominant position, accounting for 80 percent of  U.S. goods exports.   

April exports of manufactured goods were up 24 percent over April 2009, while April imports of manufactured goods were up 22 percent.  Because imports are considerably larger than exports, the import growth rate boosted the dollar value of imports more than the dollar value of exports.  As a result, the April manufactured goods trade deficit grew to $29 billion, up $4 billion from the previous year.

The National Association of Manufacturers had been expecting the trade deficit to increase over the 2009 levels, as the U.S. economic recovery is outpacing that of major markets such as the European Union and Japan — but we did not forecast a return to the $40-50 billion dollar levels of 2005-2006.   The rate of import growth should slow later in the year, and an added export push can stabilize and begin to reduce the trade deficit further.

The April manufactured goods export rate of 24 percent remains significantly above the 15 percent annual rate of growth that will be needed for the next five years in order to reach the President’s goal of doubling exports by 2014.  The rapid rate of growth so far, however, reflects a continuing recovery from the collapse of U.S. exports in 2009 – and achieving the export goal will require additional policy and program changes in order to keep the growth rate at or above 15 percent annually.

One of the policy changes needed is to open up more foreign markets by having more bilateral trade agreements.  Year-to-date data shows the United States continues to run a manufactured goods trade surplus with its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners — $8 billion so far. 

The manufactured goods deficit is with countries that have not entered into such agreements with the United States.  Only about 40 percent of U.S. exports go to the FTA partners that have eliminated barriers to U.S. products.  American manufactured goods still face significant trade barriers in the remaining 60 percent of our markets.

Misplaced Congressional fears about trade agreements are delaying implementation and further negotiation of trade agreements, hurting U.S. manufacturing jobs.  Of serious concern is the fact that the United States sits dead in the water, while the European Union is negotiating with key markets, such as Canada, Brazil, and India.  This is no way to ensure that U.S. exports will continue to drive the manufacturing and economic recovery.

See also Secretary Locke’s statement.

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



Getting Tough Against EU’s Politically Based Ban of U.S. Poultry

The National Association of Manufacturers very much appreciates the quick, forceful action today by the Administration, led by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, to respond to U.S. industry’s call of just two weeks ago for confronting the European Union’s unjustified ban on U.S. poultry.

The NAM was the only broad U.S. trade and industry group to join with our domestic poultry industry on September in a letter to Ambassador Kirk urging the U.S. Government to request formation of a formal Dispute Settlement panel in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva to pursue a WTO legal judgment against the EU’s blatant politicization of food safety. Today, the USTR made that request. (USTR news release.) We are delighted with Ambassador Kirk’s leadership and support from around the Administration to attack this 12-year-old problem.

NAM has long led the outcry from U.S. industry confronting the EU’s abuse of the regulatory process. Science is clearly on the side of US industry.  This EU ban on US poultry is all about Euro-politics and protecting a less-competitive European poultry industry.  Unfortunately we see the same abuse of sound science from the EU to keep other U.S. agricultural products, from advanced biotechnology products to beef, which have been proven to be safe out of the European markets. Food safety regulations in Europe, the United States or anywhere else around the world need to be based on sound science, as specified in WTO rules, not on politics.

(continue reading…)

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


Canada and the EU Meet on Expanding Trade

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were re-elected as the government in Canada this week, gaining more seats in the Parliament, a success that merits close attention in the United States. For one thing, voters resoundedly defeated the opposition Liberals’ call for a carbon tax. With Canada relatively untouched by the global financial crisis, voters did not punish Harper for being in power.

Most notably, Harper is a strong advocate of free-trade agreements, so Canadians explicitly rejected the protectionism that can be found in other political parties, especially the leftist New Democrats.

Today, preliminary talks open in Quebec City between Canada and the European Union on a free-trade agreement, or an “economic partnership” as it is being described, a meeting that included Prime Minister Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy headed the meeting — Sarkozy currently holds the EU’s rotating chairmanship — and EU President  José Manuel Durão Barroso.

The case is compelling, especially in light of the current financial crisis. From The Ottawa Citizen.com:

OTTAWA – Business leaders say the stars are aligned for Canada and the European Union to begin talks on an “ambitious” trade liberalization deal that could see both economies reap combined benefits of nearly $40 billion a year.

The $40-billion figure will emerge from a joint Canada-EU study to be released Friday, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, in Quebec City. At present, two-way trade between Canada and EU countries stands at $100 billion.

The study, say people familiar with its contents, will suggest a wide-ranging trade liberalization deal would boost Canada’s annual real income, up until 2014, by $16 billion. That translates into 0.8 per cent of Canada’s GDP. The EU would realize a gain of $22.5 billion a year, or 0.1 per cent of its GDP.

The Globe and Mail reports the focus will be on services:

Both sides are expected to emphasize the benefits of removing barriers to trade in services, as opposed to goods, based on the study, which concluded that tariffs on most goods are already relatively low. Canadian officials had repeatedly pressed for the negotiations to be called “free trade” discussions, apparently because it is a term Canadians understand, according to a source from a European nation.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has pushed hard for the arrangement, and the statement will be issued when French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, is in Quebec City for the Francophonie Summit.

“The financial crisis makes this deal even more likely,” said Jason Langrish, the executive-director of the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT), an association that tries to boost trade and business links between the two economies. “We need to create liquidity between these markets.”

Powerful arguments for a Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement….or even more.

 

 

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


A Manufacturing Blog

  • Categories

  • Connect With Manufacturers

            
  • Blogroll