Manufacturing matters: Manufacturing in a new year

manufacturing1We’re safely into 2013, and with the election long-since settled and the Mayans’ predictions assigned to the trashcan of history, manufacturing news is hot. In fact, the Institute for Supply Management recently reported its index of manufacturing activity rose to 50.7 last month, up from 49.5 in November. Some highlights from the last couple of weeks:

Everyone is postulating about what is going to “change” manufacturing. Maybe it’s shale gas that will be fueling the boom, by luring chemical producers back to the U.S. in droves. Or maybe it’s 3D printing, thinks Wired magazine. Or maybe it’s even free trade with China, which has been blamed for new data that reveal manufacturing has been cut by a third here in the U.S. Certainly, the re-shoring trends we have seen will continue to make news, and it will be interesting to see how much it continues or grows in 2013.

On the regional level … 

California seems to be struggling with putting together a coherent plan for their state’s manufacturing development initiatives. The L.A. Times reports that the state’s losing a company like Pneumatic Scale Angelus to Ohio over tax credits is a good example of the state and local governments not working together or communicating well.

Florida’s governor Rick Scott is trying to boost his state’s manufacturing economy by removing taxes on all new manufacturing equipment. A budget surplus in the state seems likely to smooth over the idea with legislators.

In New York state, manufacturing activity has now declined for six months in a row, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

 

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