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. 

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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.

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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.

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The True Value of Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector’s superior productivity growth is persistent over time, creating a large productivity gap between manufacturing and other sectors of the economy. The sector is efficient in delivering value-added—it takes about 5.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) manufacturing jobs to achieve $1 million in value-added, compared with 7.7 FTE jobs for both transportation and services and 16.9 for retail trade. Without manufacturing, our standard of living would stagnate.

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Productivity Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: An Industry-Based Analysis

Productivity growth in the computer and electronic products subsector, once the principal driver of productivity performance in the manufacturing sector, has experienced significant waning in recent years. Consequently, the U.S. manufacturing productivity outlook has become murky. This is a challenging trend for our society, because increased productivity growth helps lift living standards.

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