U.S. Manufacturers Predict Growth in 2014, Canada May See Job Growth

Michelle Jamrisko’s Bloomberg report discusses a survey of U.S. manufacturers.  The key take-away?  2014 may be a good one for U.S. manufacturers:

Purchasing managers at manufacturers estimate a 4.4 percent increase in sales in 2014. Revenue rose 3.4 percent this year. The group’s forecast in April showed purchasing managers projected a 4.8 percent advance in revenue for 2013.

“Manufacturing purchasing and supply executives expect to see continued growth in 2014,” Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the group’s factory committee, said in a statement. “They are optimistic about their overall business prospects for the first half of 2014, and are even more optimistic about the second half.”

Manufacturers also saw greater promise for adding staff, predicting a 2.4 percent increase by the end of 2014, while service providers projected employment will climb 2.1 percent.  [America’s manufacturing sector directly employs 12 million million jobs.]

“As confidence boosts, so does the ability and the appetite for adding labor,” Anthony Nieves, chairman of the group’s non-manufacturing committee, said on a conference call with reporters. “Companies have been doing more with less for quite some time.”

Get some background on the possible “homecoming” for America’s manufacturing here, courtesy of PWC, and check out Industry Week‘s top 50 U.S. manufacturers.

To appreciate the significance of this news for Canada, and the depth of the Canada-U.S. economic relationship, Gordon Isfeld offers an excellent report in the Financial Post, which The Province reprints.

And if you want even more information, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) is where to go for more on Canada’s manufacturing and export landscape.

From Isfeld’s article in The Province:

Canadian manufacturers have since the recession done “a pretty good job adapting” to foreign exchange movements.

Much hope for a sustained recovery in Canada is dependent largely on the performance of U.S. labour market — and its economy in general — in the coming year.

Both jobs and economic growth in the U.S. has been due largely to the growing strength of the manufacturing and construction sectors.

“We do expect U.S. activity to firm up next year and that should help as well. So, between a weaker dollar and better U.S. economy, hopefully, manufacturing can benefit from both those two,” said BMO’s Mr. Reitzes.

“It’s an area of the economy that has been persistently weak for a while. Hopefully, it can pick up a little bit and that will help everybody.”

Mr. Lothian cautioned that “we’re not out of the woodwork yet.”

“We do know that 2014 is still going to be a year of continued risk, and that’s something Canadian companies are going to have to address and work around.”

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