The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2016 - (Page 66)

INDUSTRY INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS FORECAST US Forklift Industry Remains Strong BY BRIAN FEEHAN, PRESIDENT, ITA W ith no shortage of headline grabbing news from Washington, DC; "Will the Federal Reserve Raise Rates? Will Congress Pass a Debt Ceiling Increase and Negotiate a Budget? Will US Foreign Trade Policy Initiatives Pass Congress? Will Presidential Election Politics Gridlock Washington?" Some of these headline questions have been answered - Congress passed a debt increase and a budget. Presidential politics always creates more gridlock. The remainder of these questions are yet to be seen but certainly have the potential to affect business. The US economy has witnessed some stability in the market over the past twelve months. One contribution to that stability has been the reported stronger real GDP growth earlier this year. The estimate of growth in the US economy was revised sharply higher, up from 2.3% in the original estimate to 3.7 percent in the August report. This reflected better consumer and business spending data than previously thought. The Labor Department says the U.S. economy added 142,000 jobs in September, a figure that fell short of expectations but nonetheless appeared to shrug off turmoil in overseas markets. 66 MHEDA | themhedajournal.org Our economy has now added 8.0 million jobs over the past three years, a pace that has not been exceeded since the year 2000. In a separate survey, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the unemployment rate had dipped to 5.1percent - a sevenyear low. There are even some areas of the country that report unemployment in the 3 percent range, which could mean that anyone who wants a job - has one. And while the economy added jobs at a somewhat slower pace than in recent months, the unemployment rate remains at its lowest level since April 2008. Overall US manufacturers are still seeking a stronger recovery and data releases issued at the end of August provided mixed news about the state of the sector right now. On the positive side - new durable goods orders rose 2.0 percent in July, continuing the 4.1 percent jump in June. Much of the gains have come from the transportation equipment sector, and excluding that segment, new orders increased 0.6 percent in July. However, reduced crude oil prices, the strong dollar and weakness in certain markets around the world could be seen as taking their toll on demand and production for export products. The US Department of Commerce recently reported that the trade deficit fell to its lowest level in five months in July, down to $41.9 billion from the revised $45.2 billion figure for June. However it is important to note that the trade deficit is running 3.6percent above last year's level, reflecting weaker export sales. The October Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 51.4 percent, an increase from the 50.7 percent in September. It is important for us to recognize this report does not track hard data but the present situation in a number of industries derived from a survey of purchasing managers from those industries. A reading over 50 from those surveyed indicates that a majority reported that conditions in their industry are improving. Automobile sales continue to be a bright spot in US manufacturing. A senior analyst raised their 2015 sales forecast to 17.72 million vehicles from 16.8 million after July sales numbers were calculated. The industry's record is 17.4 million cars and light trucks, set in the year 2000. The automotive industry appears to be healthy again. http://www.themhedajournal.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2016

Chairman's Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor's Note
MHEDA’S 2016 BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND MBOA
Ask Your Board
MHEDA University Calendar
MHEDA MEMBER PROFILE
@ WORK
WOMEN AT WORK
DISTRIBUTORS FORECAST
SUPPLIER FORECAST
MHI FORECAST
ITA FORECAST
CEMA FORECAST
MAPI FORECAST
A POSITIVE 2016 IN STORE FOR MATERIAL HANDLING
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The Last Word

The MHEDA Journal - First Quarter, 2016

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