Category: News

Economic News

Philly Fed Report Shows Increase In Manufacturing Expansion.

The AP (6/20) reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported on June 19 that its index of regional factory activity rose to 17.8 in June from 15.4 in May. The figure is the highest in nine months and shows that manufacturing has expanded at a faster pace for the fourth straight month. A reading above zero indicates growth. The report also said that new orders have jumped, suggesting that “production will remain healthy.”

Federal Reserve Revises Growth Estimate.

The New York Times (6/20, Tritch) reports that on June 18, the Federal Reserve announced it was revising downward its yearly forecast for economic growth from 2.3 percent to 2.1 percent. This number is down even further from March predictions in the range of 2.8 to 3.0 percent and lines up with the views of the International Monetary Fund’s estimated growth.

Conference Board Index Gains 0.5 Percent In May.

The AP (6/20) reports the Conference Board said on June 19 that its index of leading indicators predicting the economy’s future health increased 0.5 percent for May. This is the fourth month of increases in the index, and the latest increase represents an improvement from the 0.3 percent gain in April. The index is composed of 10 indicators, and seven of the 10 indicators showed gains for May. The largest negative factor in the index was a drop in applications for building permits. Analysts predict that a growth rebound for the US economy in the second quarter could be as high as 4 percent.


Report Suggests US Could Add Millions Of Manufacturing Jobs by 2020.

The Christian Science Monitor (6/20, Swan) reports that after losses in the early 2000s, US manufacturing has “started to regain some footing” since 2010, added “more than 600,000 new jobs, according to a new report.” The Administration “celebrated that growth in a series of press events this week as evidence” that the economy is rebounding, but “manufacturing experts suggest that declaration of victory might be premature.” Still, the report, released by the US National Economic Council, suggests that the US could add between 3.5 million and 5 million manufacturing jobs by 2020.

Jobless Claims Down 6,000 Last Week. Bloomberg News (6/20, Woellert) reports that first-time claims for jobless benefits fell 6,000 last week to 312,000, according to data released on Thursday by the Department of Labor. The four-week moving average, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,750 to 311,750. Bloomberg says that the numbers are “a sign of steady progress in the labor market.”


From SME Daily Executive Briefing June 20, 2014

AR530 – The Giant At Work

Article about AR530 – the largest section bending roll ever built – in Lamiera’s trade show publication 2014.

Click below for a larger image.

Click HERE for additional information and  pictures on this machine.


AR530 - The Giant At Work

MG at Lamiera Expo in Bologna, Italy – May 2014

Come visit MG on 14 – 17 May 2014 HALL 36 – Booth A30

Showcasing AR110 Angle Roll 

  • Shafts diameter: 4.33″
  • Rolls diameter: 13.8″
  • Working speed: 237 IPM
  • Installed power: 10 HP
  • Weight: approximately 6,498 lbs
  • Dimensions: 62” L x 59” W x 62” H
AR110 AR110 AR110 AR110

Showcasing MH314C 4-roll plate bending machine 

  • Installed power: 10HP
  • Topp roll diameter: 11.4″
  • Lower roll diameter: 10.6″
  • Side rolls diameter: 8.3″
  • Working length: 126″
  • Max. rolling thickness: 9/16″
  • Max. pre-bend thickness: 1/2″
MH314C MH314C MH314C MH314C

Showcasing MH206P 4-roll plate bending machine

  • Installed power: 3HP
  • Topp roll diameter: 5.2″
  • Lower roll diameter: 5.5″
  • Side rolls diameter: 4.7″
  • Working length: 80.7″
  • Max. rolling thickness: 1/4″
  • Max. pre-bend thickness: .157″
MH206P MH206P MH206P

Institute For Supply Management’s Index Rises To 53.7 For March.

Institute For Supply Management’s Index Rises To 53.7 For March.

USA Today (4/2, Davidson) reports the Institute for Supply Management’s measurement index of factory activity rose “modestly” from 53.2 in February to 53.7 in March. The gain was smaller than expected, but reflects the shrinking output caused by adverse weather. The index for new orders moved from 54.5 to 55.1, and the employment index dropped from 52.3 to 51.1.

Midwestern Manufacturing Pace Quickens. The Kansas City (MO) Star (4/1) reports that a Creighton University survey of purchasing managers in nine Midwestern states showed an index growth from 57.4 in February to 58.2 in March. The survey indicates that “manufacturing expanded at a quicker pace during March” in the states surveyed.

Canadian PMI At 53.3 For March.

The Canadian Press (4/2) reports the RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index came in at 53.3 in March, up from a level of 52.9 in February. The Press notes that “export orders in March increased at the second-fastest pace since October but input costs rose at the steepest pace since May 2011.”


New York Manufacturers No Longer Have To Pay Corporate Income Tax.

Newsday (4/2, Madore) reports that with the passing of the New York State budget agreement, manufacturers will no longer have to pay the corporate income tax. The removal of the income tax is an effort by the state to keep manufacturers from moving to places outside of the state.


From SME Daily Executive Briefing 2.4.2014

U.S. manufacturing sector performance rebounds strongly in February

The Markit Economics preliminary index of U.S. manufacturing increased to 56.7 in February from a final reading of 53.7 last month, the London-based group said today.

A figure greater than 50 for the purchasing managers’ measure indicates expansion. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 53.6, with estimates ranging from 52.5 to 55.

The Markit measure is based on replies from 85 percent to 90 percent of American manufacturers who respond to a survey of more than 600 companies.

Click the image below for the full report.

Markit Report

What Does Obama’s State of the Union Mean for U.S. Manufacturing?

Last week President Obama gave the annual State of the Union address. Many topics were talked about including everything from war to income inequality. A main theme of the speech centered on the revitalized success of the industrial sector and the overall economic recovery. The President pointed out that new manufacturing jobs are being added for the first time in decades. This is a good sign for not only the manufacturing industry, but also the country as a whole.

While the number of factory jobs began declining in the 1990s due to production moving overseas, that trend is beginning to reverse. In fact manufacturing is one of the main industries that have seen growth since the Great Recession, with more than half a million jobs added in the last four years. Some analysts have projected further growth this year due to more companies bringing back jobs to this country. Moving manufacturing overseas doesn’t make quite as much sense as it did a decade ago. Labor costs in China are rising while the US is seeing declining energy costs. These forces combined means companies can afford to ramp up production without outsourcing most of the work.

At Marshall Fabrication Machinery Inc., we are proud to offer manufacturing jobs right here in the US. The recent rise in manufacturing jobs is good for the entire industry, and we look forward to seeing more jobs come back to this country each year. For more information about the industrial sector and how it helps America’s economy, keep checking back with us!


Households, trade keep U.S. economy humming in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Robust household spending and strong exports kept the U.S. economy on solid ground in the fourth quarter, but stagnant wages could chip away some of the momentum in early 2014. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, in line with economists’ expectations. While that was a slowdown from the third-quarter’s brisk 4.1 percent pace, it was a far stronger performance than anticipated earlier in the quarter. It also was welcome news in light of a 0.3 percentage point drag from October’s partial government shutdown and a much smaller contribution to growth from a restocking by businesses.

Earlier in the quarter many economists were expecting a growth pace below 2 percent given that an inventory surge accounted for much of the increase in the July-September period. Growth over the second half of the year come in at a 3.7 percent pace, up sharply from 1.8 percent in the first six months of the year. It was the biggest half-year increase since the second half of 2003. “The clear message is that the economy entered into 2014 with a lot of momentum,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust in Chicago.

U.S. stock index futures and the dollar held their gains after the data. Consumer spending was the main driver of fourth-quarter growth, but there was also help from other segments of the economy such as trade and business investment. The advance fourth-quarter GDP was released a day after the Federal Reserve said “growth in economic activity picked up in recent quarters.”

The Fed on Wednesday announced another reduction to its monthly bond purchases and appeared to shrug off a surprise sharp slowdown in job growth in December. Consumer spending rose at a 3.3 percent rate, the strongest since the fourth quarter of 2010. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, advanced at a 2 percent pace in the third quarter. Businesses accumulated $127.2 billion worth of inventories, the most since the first quarter of 1998, adding 0.42 percentage point to GDP growth. Inventories had risen $115.7 billion in the third quarter, contributing 1.67 percentage points to output. Excluding inventories, the economy grew at a 2.8 percent rate, up from the third-quarter’s 2.5 percent rate.


The sturdy increase in demand should put the economy on a stronger growth path this year. However, a lack of wage growth could take some edge off consumer spending early in the year. A feared inventory correction, which did not materialize in the fourth quarter, is now likely to show up in the first three months of the year and weigh on growth, economists say. In addition, business investment is expected to moderate, given a surprise tumble in orders for capital goods excluding defense and aircraft in December. Even so, a lessening of the fiscal austerity that gripped Washington last year should keep the economy on a firmer growth path. Growth for the whole of this year is forecast at 2.9 percent, up from last year’s 1.9 percent. Wage growth has been stagnant as the economy deals with slack in the labor market. In a separate report, the Labor Department said first-time applications for state unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000. Consumption in the fourth quarter came at the expense of saving. The saving rate slowed to 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter from 4.9 percent in the prior period. Income at the disposal of households after accounting for inflation rose at a tepid 0.8 percent rate in the fourth quarter. That was a sharp slowdown from the 3.0 percent pace in the third quarter. Sluggish wages kept inflation pressures benign in the fourth quarter. A price index in the GDP report rose at a 0.7 percent rate, decelerating from the third-quarter’s 1.9 percent pace. A core measure that strips out food and energy costs increased at a 1.1 percent rate after advancing at a 1.4 percent pace in the July-September period.

The economy in the last quarter also got a boost from exports, thanks to firmer global growth. Exports rose at their fastest pace in three years. That, together with declining petroleum imports narrowed the trade deficit. Trade contributed 1.33 percentage points to GDP growth. Business spending on equipment accelerated at a 6.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter after rising at only a 0.2 percent pace in the prior three months. There was a decline in business spending on nonresidential structures in the fourth quarter. A run-up in mortgage rates, which held back home sales and renovations, saw residential investment falling for the first time since the third quarter of 2010. Government spending contracted at a 4.9 percent pace, reflecting a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government in October. The Commerce Department said the shutdown had reduced GDP growth by 0.3 percentage point, through reduction in hours worked by federal employees.

By Lucia Mutikani (Reuters)

New Manufacturing Orders Surge in Texas

Factories should be humming in Texas based on the latest manufacturing outlook survey from the Dallas Fed. In January, the new orders index spiked to 14.4 from 1.3 in December. The shipments index also grew sharply, from barely over zero to 9.2.

“Growth in auto sales, lower energy prices and the relatively low value of the U.S. dollar are leading many tire manufacturing companies to move production to the U.S., displacing their own imported tire shipments,” said one upbeat chemical manufacturer. “We are hearing that there are more profits to be made by producing and selling in the U.S. than exporting to the U.S.”

The production index also edged up in the state, from 6 to 7.1, while capacity utilization held steady at 8.2.


Texas employers reported an uptick in hiring, though 72% continued to report no change in their workforce size. The hours worked index returned from negative territory in December to 3.4 in January.

The raw materials price index fell to 26.8 in January but the bank noted it remains high compared to most of last year. And 43% of the manufacturers polled said they anticipate more price increases over the next six months.

Texas manufacturers continue to hold a rosy view of the economy. The future general business activity index remains positive at 22.3 and the index of future company outlook rose to 33.5, its highest level in three years.

But manufacturers are still wary of the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act and other regulatory activity. “We are extremely concerned with the increasing costs of compliance and regulations that are adding to our overhead and therefore reducing our margins,” said one manufacturer. “We are trying to pass the cost to our customers but that can be difficult in a ‘quoting for every job’ environment.”

From Industry Week by Steve Minter in The Global Manufacturer

Increased Investment in U.S. Manufacturing

U.S. manufacturing has been on the upswing for a little while now, and there are finally enough signs of positive trends that industry experts are hopeful for the industry’s long-term prospects. Investment in American factories has grown, spurring corporate investment and a turnaround in hiring.

American manufacturing companies are expected to increase their spending on equipment by 7 percent in 2014, up to a total of about $211 billion according to this article published online by The Wall Street Journal. The article cites a few cases of companies investing hundreds of millions of dollars into factory facilities in Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina. Some of this investment is even coming from foreign companies, bringing money into the country instead of the other way around.

Employment levels within manufacturing industries are still at a level below what U.S. manufacturers enjoyed in 2007, before the country’s recession. However, since reaching its lowest point in 2010, total jobs in American manufacturing increased by 5 percent to about 12 million jobs. As investment in U.S. manufacturing facilities improves, we’ll need even more workers to fill the positions at those companies as well.

The United States currently endures a pretty massive trade deficit between foreign imports and domestic exports, indicating that it’s spending more than it’s producing. However, that gap also tightened up by $6 billion over the past year. That’s a pretty small piece of the total pie, but it is an encouraging sign that American manufacturing is exporting more than in recent years.

There are still a few issues confronting our country’s manufacturing goals that we may need to address before returning to prosperity. Many areas of our country are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, and our businesses deal with higher taxes than in other countries. Still, the comparatively flat wages earned by our workers, as well as reduced energy costs within our country, has been encouraging far more investment in our economy.

Marshall Fabrication Machinery is on hand whenever you need metalworking machinery to handle your manufacturing jobs. From plate rolls to angle rolls and more, we provide the top quality in factory and machining equipment that your business deserves.