U.S. Industrial Outlook: Glimmers of Light

In recent months, there have been a number of welcome signs of stability in the global economic picture. A firming of price pressures and trade flows in key regions has eased fears of a lapse into growth-destroying deflation. This is a moderate improvement from our December 2016 forecast.

EconomicKristin Graybill
U.S. Industrial Outlook: December 2016

Our current five-year forecast is one of persistently sluggish activity. We expect no more than 2% annual growth in U.S. GDP through and including 2020. We predict less than 1% annual growth in U.S. manufacturing output for 2016 and 2017 and then growth of 1% or a little more through and including 2020

Kristin Graybill
U.S. Industrial Outlook: Growth Acceleration Is Around the Corner

Manufacturing industrial production was essentially unchanged in the first quarter of 2016 and then fell at a 1% annual rate in the second quarter. July production grew at a 6% annual rate, so the third quarter is off to a good start. The strong July begs the question of whether the month’s growth was a fluke.

Kristin Graybill
Report on U.S. Trade in Manufactures

The report provides a breakout of U.S. bilateral trade with China and Mexico, which has become a contentious electoral issue. As will be seen, the two bilateral deficits are critically different in terms of trade composition and policy relationships.

Kristin Graybill
Productivity Dynamics: Decision Criteria for New Technology Investment

This article considers the appropriate decision framework for corporate capital investment projects when the technologies are new to the company or new to the world. I use an overview of the known drivers of capital investment and an exploration of the significant differences in motivation and framework between ordinary capital investment and new technology investment to form a decision-making flow chart for both capital investment and new technology investment.

Kristin Graybill
Can the Euro Be Saved?

It has been seven years since the EU was hit with its version of the global financial crisis. Even though Europe’s economy is growing again after two recessions, the eurozone’s GDP volume has not fully recovered yet and many of the original crisis symptoms persist. While the UK referendum to leave the EU surprised many people, Britain’s economy has been performing better than many European countries. As the UK is not part of the currency union, it is stronger economically than many of its EU counterparts. 

Kristin Graybill
Automation Investment in U.S. Manufacturing: An Empirical Picture

Amid all of the recent public dialogue about new manufacturing technologies and manufacturing automation investment in particular, there are little or no data offering a coherent picture of the automation investment dynamic. In this second of three MAPI Foundation papers on manufacturing productivity performance, I seek to remedy the data deficit by presenting the results of a national survey of U.S. manufacturers on their automation activity. I offer revealing stratifications of the results by company size and industry.

Kristin Graybill
The $15 Trillion U.S. Foreign Debt

There has been considerable discussion of the U.S. federal debt, approaching $20 trillion, and the impact this will have on the budget deficit when Treasury rates rise. Almost no attention, however, has been paid to the fact that three-quarters of this projected debt, or $15 trillion, will be held by foreigners, and that a 3% rise in Treasury rates could cause disruption in international trade and finance.

Kristin Graybill