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Manufacturers Had a Good Year and Expect 2015 to Be Better

Dec. 8, 2014

Recent data show relative strength in demand and output in the manufacturing sector, with activity levels reflecting improvements since earlier in the year. In particular, the latest Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers’ index has reflected robust growth in new orders and production since the summer, and employment and pricing pressures appear to be moving in the right direction. The forecast for real GDP and industrial production for 2015 also show promise, both of which are anticipated to expand by roughly 3% next year.

That is not to suggest a smooth road ahead, as there are challenges. The slowing global economy, a still-cautious consumer, rising interest rates, a stronger dollar, and tax and regulatory uncertainty could each pose downside risks to U.S. economic growth. Along those lines, manufacturing production and retail sales numbers have been softer than desired in the autumn months, and export sales growth has continued to be sluggish in light of economic challenges abroad.

Read more on this survey at IndustryWeek.

IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.