NAM: Monday Economic Report

There were several reports out last week highlighting strength in the U.S. economy. Along those lines, manufacturing production expanded robustly in October, up 1.3 percent, its fastest monthly pace of growth since April. In October, durable and nondurable goods production rose by 0.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, with the latter rebounding from significant declines in activity in August and September in the chemicals and petroleum and coal products segments due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As a result, manufacturing production has risen by 2.5 percent over the past 12 months, the best year-over-year rate since August 2014. In a similar manner, manufacturing capacity utilized soared from 75.5 percent in September to 76.4 percent in October, a reading not seen since May 2008. At the same time, manufacturing activity in the Kansas City, New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank districts continued to expand at rather robust paces despite a little softening in each of the most recent surveys. The Kansas City and New York reports reflected

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Associated Industries of Missouri leads charge against flawed classification of herbicide

Associated Industries of Missouri, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Farm Bureau, and St. Louis-based National Corn Growers Association have joined other groups targeting classification that would devastate American food supply and the economy. To read the full article, click here.  “Associated Industries of Missouri is part of a nationwide diverse coalition of groups that have come together to challenge California’s false Prop 65 warning on glyphosate,” Ray McCarty, President/CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri, said. “The coalition includes manufacturers, food producers, farmers, processors and consumers from across the country – all of whom object to the requirements of Prop 65 as it relates to glyphosate. Glyphosate is not only safe and cost-effective, it is an essential tool that farmers have safely used for more than four decades. California’s attempt to require my members to endorse a false warning is unconstitutional and would impose economic hardship across the supply chain. We cannot sit idly by – we must engage and believe the

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NAM Webinar – The Digital Supply Network: A New Era of Supply Chain Visibility & Resiliency

REGISTER NOW November 30, 2017 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST Complex supply chain networks are not the only challenge facing manufacturing’s supply chain leaders. They also face complex choices about how to utilize technology and data analytics to drive innovation and enable new market growth. In this webinar, Cindy Elliott and Prof. Swink take a look at how global complexity and market dynamics are putting unprecedented pressures on supply chain operations, and how location intelligence helps manufacturers to visualize and analyze supply chain strengths and weaknesses to improve business continuity and advance new supply chain capabilities.

Defense bill includes 24 new Super Hornets built in St. Louis

Negotiators from the U.S. House and Senate late Wednesday night agreed to a $700 billion defense bill that would fund construction of 24 new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets built by Boeing workers in St. Louis. John LaBombard, a spokesman for Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said several other Missouri-specific projects are in the bill, including $175 million in funding for construction of a new National Geospatial-Intelligence western headquarters in north St. Louis. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, was also on the conference committee. The $700 billion is about $26 billion more than President Donald Trump requested for the 2018 fiscal year. Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

NAM: Monday Economic Report

Sandwiched between a few busy weeks for economic data, the handful of reports out last week were consistent with a strengthened outlook, both for consumers and in the labor market. The Federal Reserve Board reported that U.S. consumer credit outstanding rose 6.6 percent at the annual rate in September, picking up from the 4.2 percent gain in August. Across the past 12 months, consumer credit has increased 5.6 percent. This suggests that Americans are less cautious in their spending and more willing to use their credit cards for their purchases than just a few months ago. Indeed, this report mirrors data showing a 1.0 percent jump in personal spending in September, its fastest monthly pace since August 2009, with year-over-year growth of 4.4 percent. Moreover, the saving rate plummeted to 3.1 percent in September, its lowest level since December 2007, or since the start of the Great Recession. Most importantly, these figures show robust gains in consumer expenditures, which remain one of the brighter

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NAM’s Timmons: Another step closer to historic Tax Reform

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the introduction of tax reform legislation in the U.S. Senate: “Momentum is building for historic tax reform, and the Senate’s bold vision takes us one step closer to victory—to a plan that lifts everyone up and leaves no one behind. While we hope the final package includes robust rate cuts for small businesses, the Senate’s bill certainly signals that lawmakers are serious about delivering a surge of manufacturing jobs and manufacturing investment for the American people. “We look forward to working with leaders in both chambers as they work toward final drafts and fine-tune the details. Right now, we have an opportunity of a lifetime to overhaul our outdated, uncompetitive tax code, and we’ll make sure the voices of our members and the interests of manufacturing workers are heard across Capitol Hill as this critical process moves forward. “There is no excuse for delay. Lawmakers

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The NAM raises concern over trend of activist lawsuits against manufacturers

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) declared in Investor’s Business Daily that trial lawyers are “waging a reckless assault against manufacturers” in pursuing politically-motivated lawsuits. Linda Kelly, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the NAM and leader of the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, authored the opinion piece that outlines how “legal crusaders” are using lawsuits to target energy producers for their own financial gain – a trend that has set a dangerous precedent for all manufacturers in America. “Manufacturers’ jobs are on the line when lawyers run up litigation costs that can’t go into a worker’s paycheck. And every dollar spent defending against meritless attacks is a dollar not spent on innovation and game-changing revolutions that make our world healthier and communities safer,” writes Kelly. For the full text of the column, please click here.

Global Manufacturing Economic Update

When considering why manufacturers remain so upbeat in their outlook right now, it is hard to ignore the positive impact of stronger growth internationally. The data continue to suggest that the sector has turned a corner. Indeed, the J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose from 53.3 in September to 53.5 in October, its fastest pace since March 2011. New orders, output, exports and employment are expanding at modest rates, with demand at a seven-month high and hiring at levels not seen since May 2011. Survey respondents are also optimistic for robust growth in production over the next six months. Moreover, all but one of the top-15 markets for U.S.-manufactured goods expanded in October, with Mexico contracting for the first time since July 2013, largely from the September 19 earthquake in Mexico City. It is expected that Mexican activity will expand once again in November. Europe continued to dominate the list of the top export markets with strong manufacturing growth. The IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI increased to its highest level

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House Ways & Means Committee begins work on Tax Reform Bill

The AP  reports that as the House Ways & Means Committee prepared to begin work on proposed tax reform legislation Monday, Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, “This is our moment to make transformational tax reform a reality.” The AP writes that the committee hopes to mark-up the bill and send it to the full House by the end of the week, and “leaders hope to pass it through the House by Thanksgiving.” It adds, “The tax proposal is the first major rewrite of the US tax code in three decades,” and it “is enthusiastically backed by Trump, House GOP leaders and many rank-and-file Republicans, who are promising a simpler IRS code, a more globally competitive business tax structure, and tax cuts for the middle class and families with children.” The Washington Times  quotes Brady saying, “Today, we stand on the doorstep of delivering the most sweeping tax overhaul in more than 30 years. Our committee has dedicated a substantial amount of time, energy,

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Missouri funds from 2004 road measure don’t pay debt service

The revenue generated by a 2004 voter-approved initiative in Missouri to fund better highways and bridges has not been enough to cover the bond payments it authorized for hundreds of projects, putting the state in a more precarious position for future transportation funding. An analysis by The Associated Press also found that the amount redirected from the state road fund to the Missouri State Highway Patrol has surged since passage of the amendment, which exempted the patrol from its new limits on diversions. The combination of the debt and redirected dollars means less money is available for traditional pay-as-you-go road projects. And that has left policymakers once again searching for ways to boost funding for a transportation system that has an estimated $800 million annual shortfall in its needs. A bipartisan task force of lawmakers, executive officials and citizens faces a January deadline to recommend a transportation funding plan. Among the options it will consider is whether to create a

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