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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

U.S. Deficit To Drop To $514B, Lowest Of Obama Years

February 4, 2014 12:21 pm | by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. budget deficit is set to fall to $514 billion this year, down substantially from last year and the lowest level by far since President Barack Obama took office five years ago, a congressional report said Tuesday.     

U.S. Factory Orders Down 1.5 Percent In December

February 4, 2014 11:18 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories fell 1.5 percent in December, the biggest drop since July, with much of the weakness coming from a plunge in aircraft orders, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Orders had risen 1.5 percent in November after a 0.5 percent October decrease.

MAPI: January Factory Slowdown 'Worrisome'

February 4, 2014 9:38 am | News | Comments

“While U.S. manufacturing continued its growth into the new year, survey data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the pace of factory activity slowed considerably. The overall Index fell by 5.2 percentage points from 56.5 in December to 51.3 in January, still signaling overall output advances but at a far more muted pace."

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How Outsourcing Went Horribly Wrong

February 3, 2014 3:16 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

There is much debate over the effectiveness of the strategy, the affect it has had on “American” brand quality, and the affect it is having on the U.S. economy and its ability to pull out of the current recession.        

U.S. Factories Expanded At Much Slower Pace In Jan.

February 3, 2014 10:39 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing barely expanded last month as factories cut back sharply on production, and new orders plunged. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in the previous month.

U.S. Consumer Spending Up 0.4 Percent In December

January 31, 2014 12:47 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat. Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December, compared with November when spending had increased an even stronger 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Obama Asks CEOs For Help Hiring Long-Term Jobless

January 31, 2014 11:18 am | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

CEOs from companies like Apple, Walmart, Visa and Boeing are heading to the White House on Friday to deliver commitments to do their part. Although the unemployment rate has declined to 6.7 percent, long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem.

SE Mich. PMI: January Rebound After Year-End Low

January 31, 2014 10:56 am | by The Institute for Supply Management - Southeast Michigan | News | Comments

The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January is 52.3, up from 50.6 in December, as both the Production and New Order indexes rebounded after a seasonal, year-end low. A PMI value above 50 generally suggests economic growth.

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Applications For Jobless Benefits Rise To 348K

January 30, 2014 8:47 am | News | Comments

Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000, the highest in about a month. But the broader trend in applications remains low. The Labor Department says that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased just 750 to 333,000. The increase follows three weeks of declines.

U.S. Economy Grows At 3.2 Percent Rate In 4Q

January 30, 2014 8:44 am | News | Comments

The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter on the strength of the strongest consumer spending in three years, an encouraging sign for 2014. The fourth-quarter increase followed a 4.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter, when the economy was boosted by a buildup in business stockpiles.

IBM, Texas A&M Will Collaborate On Research

January 29, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

IBM and Texas A&M University System will be collaborating on wide-ranging research. The Armonk, N.Y. based company and the university announced the agreement on Wednesday. The work will focus on energy, animal diseases and global food supplies, among other things.

AAM On SOTU: Rosy Picture, Slow Progress On Manufacturing

January 29, 2014 11:12 am | by The Alliance For American Manufacturing (AAM) | News | Comments

"This is the third consecutive State of the Union in which there has been a strong rhetorical focus on manufacturing, and that’s welcome. But the progress, despite the rosy picture painted by the President, has been painfully slow. And in some cases, such as the trade deficit with China, we’ve seen backsliding."

ITIF On SOTU: Good News On Institutes, More Tax Change Needed

January 29, 2014 9:25 am | by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) | News | Comments

Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), responded to the 2014 State of the Union address by praising the announcement of six new manufacturing innovation institutes as well as the President’s call to roll back sequestration cuts to federal research and development.

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Republicans Unimpressed With Obama's Speech

January 29, 2014 8:18 am | by David Espo, AP Special Correspondent | News | Comments

At the dawn of an election year, congressional Republicans responded quickly and forcefully to President Barack Obama's nationally televised vow to act on his own if lawmakers won't cooperate on "creating new jobs, not creating new crises" in a nation with a yawning income gap.

State Of The U.S. Economy: Strongest Since Recession

January 29, 2014 8:15 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy is showing more strength than at any time since the Great Recession began six years ago. Employers are hiring. Home prices, sales and construction have surged. Corporate profits and stocks have hit records. And consumers have picked up their spending.

Obama Ambassador Pick Embraces Criticism Of China

January 28, 2014 2:20 pm | by Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press | News | Comments

Speaking at his Senate confirmation hearing, Sen. Max Baucus said he wants to help the U.S. build a more equitable economic relationship with China while encouraging the Asian giant to act responsibly as it emerges as a global power.    

Honda Becomes Net Exporter In The U.S.

January 28, 2014 12:51 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Throughout 2013, the company exported 108,705 U.S.-made Honda and Acura vehicles while importing 88,537. In addition, the company achieved record production levels of 1,309,917 units on American soil — a 7.4 percent increase over the previous record in 2012.

Unemployment Rates Fall In 39 States Last Month

January 28, 2014 11:09 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in four-fifths of US states in December and rose in just two, though most of the improvement stemmed from unemployed Americans giving up on their job searches. The Labor Department says that employers in 30 states added jobs, the fewest to report gains since August. Nineteen states reported job losses.

Manufacturers Are Leaving China, But Where Are They Headed?

January 28, 2014 10:59 am | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation | Blogs | Comments

Seeing China’s manufacturing sector shrink is a trend that excites Americans, although it may not actually alleviate much of the pressure around a U.S. unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. The reality, according to many experts, is that the phenomenon is more one of nearshoring than reshoring, as many of these businesses — along with their jobs — head to Mexico.

Consumer Confidence At Highest Point Since Aug.

January 28, 2014 10:29 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. consumer confidence has reached its highest point since August on the strength of a brighter view of the job market and business conditions. The Conference Board, a business research group, says its consumer confidence index rose to 80.7 this month from a December reading of 77.5. It was the second consecutive strong gain.

Sen. Coons: Manufacturing Jobs Must Be Central To SOTU

January 28, 2014 9:49 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) has today called for President Obama to focus tonight’s State of the Union address on ways the government will help American manufacturers expand and create new jobs.             

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Drop 4.3 Percent

January 28, 2014 8:55 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Businesses cut back sharply on their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in December with a key category that signals business investment plans falling by the biggest amount in five months. Orders for durable goods fell 4.3 percent in December compared with November, when orders had risen 2.6 percent.

Obama Speech: Big New Theme, Some Familiar Content

January 28, 2014 8:03 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

The address will be wrapped in a unifying theme: The federal government can play a key role in increasing opportunities for Americans who have been left behind, unable to benefit from a recovering economy. Yet, at the core of the address, the president will deliver a split message.

Plastics Machinery Shipments Rise Sharply In Q3

January 27, 2014 1:57 pm | by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association | News | Comments

Taking a closer look at the data, shipments of injection molding machinery were up 20 percent in the third quarter when compared with the same quarter of a year ago. Shipments of single-screw extruders advanced 9 percent, and shipments of twins-screw escalated 12 percent. Shipments of new thermoforming equipment spiked up 50 percent in Q3 when compared with last year

CAT CEO, NAM Want Obama To Make U.S. 'Can-Do' Nation

January 27, 2014 11:45 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Yesterday, Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., and Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, penned an open letter to President Barack Obama calling for more leadership on creating an environment in which manufacturers can grow once more to create jobs and generate a stronger economy.

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