Embracing the Arctic Challenge

What’s happening in the Arctic is big. President Obama’s trip to Alaska underscores that the Arctic will play a huge role in shaping our future. And manufacturers are watching.

While the Arctic holds the promise of abundant and strategic resources, it also has one of the harshest and most complex environments on the planet. The Arctic is still very much a captivating, yet daunting frontier. (continue reading…)

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ICYMI: Congressional Taxwriters Press Treasury Again on Country By Country Reporting

While many of us were enjoying a little R&R in the waning days of August, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) were focused on BEPS— the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.

In an August 27th letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the Chairmen questioned Treasury’s ability to impose some new tax reporting requirements on U.S. multinational companies, reiterating a request made earlier this summer that Treasury provide them with a memo outlining their legal authority to collect country by country (CbC) information from U.S. companies with global operations. (continue reading…)

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Exporters for Ex-Im: NOVA Pressroom Finds Opportunity in Latin American Markets

The global market for manufactured goods continues to grow, providing myriad opportunities for U.S. manufacturers to expand their product reach overseas.  The U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank is a critical tool that allows manufacturers, like Florida-based NOVA Pressroom Products, a chance at developing a successful exporting business to Latin American countries.  (continue reading…)

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Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturers Continued to See Reduced Activity in August

The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank has reported contracting levels of manufacturing activity every month so far in 2015. The composite index of general business conditions declined from -4.6 in July to -15.8 in August, remaining in negative territory for the eighth consecutive month. Indeed, manufacturers in the Dallas Fed district continue to see declining activity in several key indicators, with the sector hurt by reduced crude oil prices and a stronger dollar, albeit with a few of them easing in their rates of decline. This includes new orders (down from 0.7 to -12.5), production (up from (-1.9 to -0.8), capacity utilization (up from -4.2 to -0.2), shipments (up from -4.3 to -3.0) and employment (up from -3.3 to -1.4). (continue reading…)

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Modest Growth in Personal Income and Spending in July

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal income increased 0.4 percent, marking the fourth straight month with that pace. Over the course of the past 12 months, personal incomes have risen 4.3 percent, up from 4.1 percent in the last report. Total manufacturing wages and salaries were $793.2 billion in July, up from $788.5 billion in June. This continues an upward trend for the sector, with manufacturing wages and salaries totaling $746.8 billion and $780.9 billion on average in 2013 and 2014, respectively. (continue reading…)

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Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Has Declined for Six Straight Months

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district has declined for six straight months. The composite index of general business conditions edged lower, down from -7 in July to -9 in August, with this measure in solid negative territory since March. Overall, manufacturers continue to report contracting levels of activity, with reduced crude oil prices, the strong dollar and weaknesses abroad pressuring the sector’s performance. Indeed, various measures of activity were negative across-the-board. This included new orders (down from -6 to -9), production (down from -5 to -16), shipments (down from -2 to -15) and exports (up from -10 to -4). Exports have now declined for eight consecutive months. (continue reading…)

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Second Quarter Real GDP Revised Sharply Higher, up from 2.3 Percent to 3.7 Percent Growth

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its estimate of growth in the U.S. in the second quarter sharply higher. Real GDP increased 3.7 percent in the second quarter, significantly higher than the 2.3 percent original estimate released last month. This was slightly above the consensus estimate of 3.2 percent, and the improvement in economic growth for the quarter was attributed to upward revisions in many categories, but particularly for inventory spending. Despite the better headline figure, the underlying trends were largely the same, including rebounds in consumer and business spending and with net exports recovering a bit after serving as a drag in the prior two quarters.  (continue reading…)

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Durable Goods Orders Up for the Second Straight Month

The Census Bureau said that new durable goods orders rose 2.0 percent in July, extending the 4.1 percent jump seen in June. Through the first seven months of 2015, new durable goods orders have risen 6.3 percent. Much of the gain in June came from strong sales from the Paris Air Show, and as we would expect, nondefense aircraft orders came back to earth in July, down 6.0 percent. Even with this decline, however, transportation orders were up 4.7 percent, boosted by rebounding auto sales. Motor vehicle orders increased 0.8 percent and 4.0 percent in the past two months, respectively, improving from softer demand in the spring months and helping the segment notch a 7.3 percent year-to-date gain. (continue reading…)

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Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Rebounded in August

The Conference Board said that consumer sentiment jumped strongly in August, rebounding from the sharp decline seen in July. The Consumer Confidence Index, which unexpectedly fell significantly from 99.8 in June to 91.0 in July, recovered in August, rising to 101.5. This was the second-highest level since August 2007 – second only to January’s 103.8 reading. The improvement in this report stemmed largely from the public’s better assessment of the labor market. For instance, 21.9 percent of respondents said that jobs were plentiful, up from 19.9 percent the month before. More importantly, the percent noting that jobs were “hard to get” fell from 27.4 percent to 21.9 percent. (continue reading…)

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Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Stalled in August

The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity stalled in August, pulling back from three months of rebounding sentiment. The composite index of general business activity declined from 13 in July to zero in August, its lowest level since April. Manufacturers reported weaker activity across-the-board, with only marginal growth in new orders (down from 17 to 1) and employment (unchanged at 1) and reductions in shipments (down from 16 to -4) and capacity utilization (down from 9 to -5) levels. There have been a number of headlines so far this year, including a strong dollar, sluggish global growth and reduced crude oil prices. These data suggest that the sector has not fully emerged from those challenges despite some progress since the spring months. (continue reading…)

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