Empire State Manufacturing Survey Shows Growth in July

The July 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business conditions improved significantly for a third consecutive month for New York manufacturers.

  • The headline general business conditions index climbed six points to 25.6, its highest level in more than four years.
  • The new orders index was little changed at 18.8, while the shipments index rose nine points to 23.6; both indexes were at multiyear highs.
  • The unfilled orders index fell six points to -6.8.
  • The indexes for both prices paid and prices received were higher this month, indicating a pickup in the pace of price increases.
  • Labor market conditions continued to improve, with indexes pointing to a solid increase in employment levels and a slight increase in hours worked. Although many of the indexes for the six-month outlook were significantly lower, conditions overall were expected to continue improving in the months ahead.

NAM Poll Shows Americans Want a Simpler and Fairer Tax Code

The National Association of Manufacturers is a leader in the tax reform effort to create a national tax climate that promotes manufacturing in America and enhances the global competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States. Manufacturers are calling on lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to work together on tax reform.

The NAM recently drew attention to the significance of tax reform to Americans with new poll findings that show likely voters want policymakers to work together to enact a simpler, fairer tax code. The poll shows American taxpayers are taking a big-picture look at tax reform, offering strong support for pro-growth policies, even if their personal tax burden is unaffected.

Key findings of the NAM poll include the following:

  • Nearly 73 percent of those polled support comprehensive reform to make the tax code simpler and fairer, even if their personal tax burden remains the same.
  • An overwhelming majority—85 percent—believe it is important that Congress and the President put aside partisanship to enact comprehensive tax reform.

“Among the American people, tax reform bridges the partisan divide—and voters want Congress and the Administration to move beyond the gridlock to fix our broken, uncompetitive tax code,” said NAM Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Dorothy Coleman.

Coleman discussed how tax reform is a key decision point for voters in the NAM’s A Manufacturing Minute video. The Business Journals and Politico Morning Energy (subscription required) featured news coverage of the survey.

While House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-MI) impending retirement casts some doubt on the future of his signature tax reform proposal unveiled in February, tax reform is far from dead. Indeed, since Chairman Camp’s discussion draft is the most detailed tax overhaul plan coming out of Washington in a long time, there is a good chance that many of the provisions in the Tax Reform Act of 2014 will form the basis of a tax reform plan in the future.

At the same time, tax reform continues to be a major issue for businesses. In a recent NAM/IndustryWeek survey, two-thirds of respondents said that tax reform should be a top priority for policymakers. Clearly, there are a number of reasons why tax reform will not go away, including the current complexity of the U.S. tax system, the fact that the United States has the highest tax rate among other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, the uncompetitive U.S. international tax system and the increasing number of temporary “extenders” in the code.

The NAM has formed an ad hoc tax reform working group to take a closer look at Chairman Camp’s proposal, with the goal of submitting comments on the draft later this year. For further information or to join the ad hoc working group, please contact Coleman below.

To learn more about the new NAM poll findings, click here.

Innovation: Future of Cooking is First Project at GE’s New Micro-Factroy

The new “FirstBuild “micro-factory at the University of Louisville will focus on the future of cooking as its first set of projects. It will provide a platform for innovators to prototype and refine existing GE products, as well as create new designs.

It’s part of a broader GE initiative to crowd source ideas and solutions through the Internet and social networks, rather than rely solely on its staff of engineers.

“This new model will enable us to be more creative in the design and delivery of the products and do so with lower risk and cost while drastically reducing the time from mind to market,” Kevin Nolan, GE Appliances vice president of technology, said in the release.

Join Us: 7th Annual Manufacturing Days in Albany, March 17th – 18th

The Manufacturers Alliance of New York invites all manufacturers to come to Albany for its seventh annual Manufacturing Days, March 17 & 18, 2014. Manufacturing Day will allow our economic sector the opportunity to rally together and relay to Albany our legislative agenda for the upcoming session. The first day will consist of afternoon briefings, guest speakers, and a legislative reception. The second day will consist of a continental breakfast and lobby visits.

robertward_speakEven if you have never visited your legislator before in Albany, it is important to be involved. The voice of manufacturers needs to be heard in Albany and our elected officials need to know that manufacturing is still the engine that drives New York’s economy, and that they should want you to be successful. There is no doubt that other groups will spend a lot of time and resources presenting their case in Albany this year. Don’t miss your chance to present your issues!

The registration fee is $100 per attendee and includes all meals and materials

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman releases discussion draft on comprehensive tax reform

Comprehensive reform carries with it serious effects on our economy, along with the potential to unleash significant growth if done well. Federal tax revenues account for nearly one-fifth of GDP, and any change needs to be looked at very carefully.

Council Members have consistently placed tax reform and simplification at the top of their list of things the federal government can do to help their businesses.  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-MI) release today of a discussion draft on comprehensive tax reform is a great starting point and we hope the Congress and the Administration can work together to move reform forward.

More is here.

 

 

U.S. productivity rises faster than expected in fourth quarter

U.S. nonfarm productivity rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, mirroring the economy’s sturdy growth pace, but weak unit labor costs pointed to subdued wage inflation.

Productivity rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate after increasing at a 3.6 percent pace in the third quarter, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, rising at a 2.5 percent rate in the last three months of 2013.

 

Bloomberg covers the story here:

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Manufacturing Sector Grows At Fastest Pace In More Than Two Years.

Good News!  Manufacturing continued to expand in November, reaching its highest level of the year, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly manufacturing index released today.

The PMI grew to 57.3% in November from 56.4% in October, ISM reported. Showing strong growth were both the new orders index, up 3 points to 63.6%, and the production index, up 2 percentage points to 62.8%. The employment index also rose, up to 56.5%, an increase of 3.3 percentage points and the highest reading since April 2012. A reading of greater than 50 indicates growth.

The Business Journal’s Kent Hoover has a nice story 

NAM Economist Chad Moutray commented on the Shop Floor Blog “the overriding theme in this report is the strong increases in manufacturing orders and production over the past few months. It will be important for policymakers to keep the momentum going by moving on from fiscal tensions and considering pro-growth measures that will allow the sector to flourish moving forward.”

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November Empire State Manufacturing Survey Released

The New York Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity declined in November, the first contraction since May. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s composite index shifted from very slight growth (1.5) in October to a small net decrease (-2.2) in November. Indeed, overall sentiment has pulled back each month since peaking at 9.5 in July.

The underlying data were lower across-the-board. The index of new orders fell from 7.8 to -5.5. The percentage of respondents suggesting that their sales had increased over the past month declined from 29.6 percent to 22.5 percent, with nearly half of those taking the survey in each month saying that their orders were the same. Shipments (down from 13.1 to -0.5) and the average employee workweek (down from 3.6 to -5.3) followed suit. Meanwhile, net hiring ground to a halt (down from 3.6 to zero), with 73.7 percent of respondents noting no change in employment in November.

Despite the current weaknesses, manufacturers are mostly positive about the next six months, with the forward-looking composite index decreased only barely from 40.8 to 37.5. More importantly, just over half of survey takers anticipate higher new orders and shipments in the coming months, and other data reflect cautious optimism, as well.

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Manufacturing Survey: Uncertainty Over Government Policy Holding Back Growth

The NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers for the third quarter of 2013 shows that concerns over rising health care costs, our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges and increasing regulatory burdens continue to hold back robust growth for manufacturers.

Small, medium and large manufacturers all noted the uncertainties surrounding implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a top concern, and many are still unaware of their premium costs for next year. Fixing the long-term federal debt ranks as the top policy fix manufacturers would like to see from Washington.

“Manufacturing leaders continue to worry about the long-term challenges confronting the nation, particularly on fiscal and monetary matters,” commented NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “These uncertainties, combined with Washington’s current regulatory agenda, continue to hold back robust growth in the sector.”

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Conditions for New York Manufacturers Slumped Slightly in August.

The New York Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing conditions deteriorated unexpectedly in August, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index fell to 8.2 in August from a reading of 9.5 in July.  Analysts had expected the index to rise to 10.0 in August. On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.

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