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Researchers find U.S. manufacturing outlook strong

The outlook for U.S. manufacturing continues to be strong, according to a pair of recent reports.

The MAPI Foundation, an affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, estimates that U.S. manufacturing output will rise by 2.6 percent in 2016, followed by 3.0 percent and 2.8 percent jumps in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Manufacturing job growth is expected to make annual increases of 100,000 and 110,000, respectively, in 2016-17.

“Consistently strong job growth is driving the economy. New workers mean more income, which translates into more spending,” says Dr. Daniel J. Meckstroth, the foundation’s chief economist. “Strong domestic demand buffers the United States from the rest of the world, where global manufacturing continues to slow.”

The projection echoes what top officials are already saying. The Boston Consulting Group’s fourth annual survey of manufacturing executives at companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenues found that 31 percent plan to add U.S. production capacity within the next five years.

Twenty percent of those surveyed plan to add capacity in China. Seventeen percent said they were in the process of reshoring production to the U.S.

Costs were a significant component in the turn toward increased U.S. production.

“Fifty-six percent of respondents said that lower automation costs have improved the competitiveness of U.S.-made products compared with similar goods sourced from low-cost countries,” the BCG report stated. “Seventy-one percent said advanced manufacturing technologies will improve the economics of local production.”


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