(Laura Putre – IndustryWeek)
The outlook for manufacturing in 2015 is still optimistic but less so than initially predicted because of a collapse in oil and natural gas prices, reduced growth from a strong dollar, excess inventory and a late 2014 surge in consumers’ spending that depleted their fuel savings, a leading manufacturing economist said yesterday.
Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the trade organization MAPI, the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity, lowered the group’s forecast for manufacturing growth from 3.7% to 2.5%, down from the 3.5% growth in 2014.
In the past five years, said Meckstroth, manufacturing has grown much faster than the overall economy, averaging 3.9% vs. 2.2% respectively. “However, with the downgrade of the forecast, we’re looking for manufacturing production to grow pretty close to the overall growth rate of the general economy this year,” he said. Click here to read more.