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Manufacturing Performance

A year ago, manufacturing executives expected that their 2012 plant sales would increase by 9% (median) and 10.5% (average), according the 2011 MPI Manufacturing Study.[1] Those projections may yet turn out to be true given recent U.S. Department of Commerce data. Despite a modest drop in value of manufacturing shipments from May to June this year,…
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GDP in Balance

As the world’s largest economy, attention is rightly focused on U.S. economic growth and gross domestic product (GDP). Now with additional attention on the country’s “fiscal cliff” — or gradual fiscal slide depending on the severity of economist projections — concern is growing that U.S. GDP will decline sharply in early 2013 and reverberate worldwide. Unfortunately, the timing of this…
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Investing for the Future

With the year half over, many organizations are reevaluating their investment plans. Are sales strong enough to justify new equipment or information technology? Will continuing uncertainty in Europe temper enthusiasm for new commitments? At times like this, it’s helpful to know what competitors are thinking. U.S. and international manufacturing plant executives reported 2011 spending on…
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Hiring? Think Safety

U.S. factory employment rose 470,000 from January 2010 to March 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with manufacturers adding 37,000 persons in March. Top hires were at motor vehicles and parts companies (more than 12,000) and machinery companies (more than 7,000).[1] Manufacturers are staffing up because orders are rising, and management is…
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