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MAPI: Signs Point To Rebound This Year

Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI report says rock-bottom fuel and commodities prices, record low interest rates, and efforts to help banks should bring about a weak rebound.

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Although the near-term global economic picture will remain grim, slightly improved U.S. economic data could be a harbinger of positive signs for the world landscape, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.

MAPI economist Cliff Waldman said signs of firming demand in the U.S. economy, along with a global move toward historically accommodative monetary policies, suggests a weak rebound in industrialized country output and a modest acceleration of developing country output could begin towards the end of 2009.

"While the rare financial underpinnings of the current global crisis make it more difficult than ever to assess the impact of policy, it is difficult to believe that rock-bottom prices for fuel and commodities, the lowest interest rates in a generation, and a growing effort to repair bank balance sheets won't eventually be sufficient to restore at least weak positive activity," Waldman said.

MAPI expects the growth of total U.S. goods and services export demand to shrink by 8.3 percent in 2009, the deepest annual contraction since 1958. However, a modest rebound of 1.2 percent is anticipated during 2010, and most advanced economies are expected to experience weak recoveries in GDP and in manufacturing output.

“Developing and newly industrialized economies in East Asia have turned surprisingly weak, but prospects are seen as being good for modest recoveries both in economic and in manufacturing growth during 2010,” Waldman added.

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