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A snapshot of industry in Europe

December 19, 2014 Comments off

A snapshot of industry in Europe
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

This document draws on the recently published study How can European Industry contribute to Growth and Foster European Competitiveness?, aiming to complement it by presenting an overview of specific indicators that further illustrate the current situation of Europe’s industry.

Beginning with a snapshot of the distribution of employment by sector and the contribution of industry to the gross value added in the EU’s regions, it then goes on to chart medium- term developments in labour productivity and in industrial output across Member States. It looks at how manufacturing sectors with different technology levels have been affected during the crisis years. An analysis of the major manufacturing sectors follows, comparing performance in terms of turnover, employment and investment. It concludes with a picture of the exports of manufactured goods from Member States, both within the EU and with the rest of the world.

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U.S. Census Bureau: 2012 Manufacturing and International Trade Report (Released December 18, 2014)

December 18, 2014 Comments off

2012 Manufacturing and International Trade Report
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

This new annual report from the U.S. Census Bureau will, for the first time, provide a comprehensive comparison between detailed manufacturing product class data and associated import and export data. The data are published on a North American Industry Classification System basis from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series, presented with official U.S. export and import merchandise trade statistics. Future reports will also incorporate statistics from the Annual Survey of Manufactures.

Industry Trends: Guns & Ammunition and Tanks & Armored Vehicle Manufacturing

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Industry Trends: Guns & Ammunition and Tanks & Armored Vehicle Manufacturing
Source: IBISWorld

Based on data sourced from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), IBISWorld estimates, and the US Census, the Guns and Ammunition Manufacturing industry witnessed an overall increase in sales during the past five years, with industry revenue expected to have grown at an annualized rate of 3.2% to $13.0 billion by 2014. Supporting this growth was a sharp increase in security responsibilities by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. During the early years of this five-year period, these agencies benefited from the stimulus package enacted in 2009 which provided additional funds to law enforcement agencies. In total, more than $6.1 billion dollars of stimulus funds have been awarded for public safety purposes, some of which parlayed into gun and ammunition purchases. However, the Budget Control Act, which was passed in 2011 and is expected to cut $1.2 trillion from federal spending, has placed a financial strain on the budgets of many law enforcement agencies. These agencies represent a significant market for gun and ammunition manufacturers. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (ICAP), 64.0% of agencies responded that they undertook major cuts on buying equipment as a result of budget cuts. Against this backdrop, guns and ammunition manufacturers are expected to witness a decrease in total revenue generated from law enforcement agencies over the next few years.

See also: Industry Trends: Space Vehicle and Missile Manufacturing

Apparel at a Crossroads: The End of Low-Cost-Country Sourcing

December 1, 2014 Comments off

Apparel at a Crossroads: The End of Low-Cost-Country Sourcing
Source: Boston Consulting Group

For decades, apparel makers have worked under the assumption that labor costs must be kept as low as possible in order for garments to be produced at competitive prices. This widely held belief has caused the industry to move from country to country as labor cost increases erode each local market’s temporary advantage.

One day, and possibly soon, this journey will come to an end. Cheap labor is becoming a rare commodity, and the number of low-cost countries is dwindling. Apparel makers need to get ahead of this trend by assessing what they can do in their existing facilities to generate sustainable efficiency gains, improve their speed to market, and take the pressure off labor cost management.

The challenge calls for apparel companies to view their production processes and partners through three strategic lenses: innovation, collaboration, and proliferation. By adopting production innovations that improve speed and efficiency, such as new bonding and gluing technologies, they can more readily locate their manufacturing centers closer to customers and increase their responsiveness to fashion cycles. By working together with suppliers to adopt a standard unit of measure, they can help bring cost transparency to the supply chain, providing their production partners with an incentive to improve productivity. And by improving coordination with tier one, tier two, and tier three suppliers, they can more actively manage their raw-material needs.

Smart, connected products: Manufacturing’s next transformation

November 25, 2014 Comments off

Smart, connected products: Manufacturing’s next transformation
Source: Oxford Economics

Smart, connected products—the “Things” in the Internet of Things—are expected to power the next wave of manufacturing. However businesses must rethink their products, services, and processes, and most gains anticipated remain up for grabs.

​To better understand how manufacturers are navigating the opportunities and challenges surrounding smart, connected products (SCPs), Oxford Economics and PTC surveyed 300 manufacturing executives around the world. Only firms with strategies to develop these products were considered. The survey, along with a series of interviews with industry leaders, shows that the SCP revolution is well under way but remains in its early stages.

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USICT Releases Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2013

November 18, 2014 Comments off

USICT Releases Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2013
Source: U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2013, an annual compendium of data and analysis examining changes in trade with key U.S. partners and in important U.S. industries, was released today by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, releases the information in a web-based format that provides details and reasons for key shifts in trade and that can be searched by country or industry sector.

Users will find a comprehensive review of U.S. trade performance in 2013, focusing on changes in U.S. exports, imports, and trade balances of agricultural and manufacturing industries, key natural resources, as well as changes in U.S. trade with major partners and country groups. Also included are profiles of the U.S. industry and market for over 250 industry groups and subgroups, offering data for 2009-13 on consumption, production, and trade.

The report examines:

  • industry developments and the principal drivers influencing trends in U.S. trade;
  • leading products the United States exported to and imported from its most important trading partners and the key factors influencing trade in these products;
  • price fluctuations, global market trends, government trade policies, and other major factors affecting U.S. trade in 2013.

In the 2013 report, a special topic chapter provides an overview of the use of value added as an innovative method of analyzing trade flows, as well as a discussion of relevant data sources. The chapter describes how this information can help business officials, government representatives, and others better understand the economics of global manufacturing and gain a more precise and nuanced picture of trade deficits and surpluses.

The Changing Shape of UK Manufacturing

November 12, 2014 Comments off

The Changing Shape of UK Manufacturing
Source: Office for National Statistics

The contribution of the manufacturing industry to the UK economy has changed markedly over the last 60 years. On average, output in the industry has grown by 1.4% a year since 1948, although it has contracted around the economic downturns in the 1970s and early 1990s, and most recently and notably during the 2008-9 economic downturn. But output growth has been at a slower rate than that for the whole economy, and as a consequence the proportion of whole economy Gross Value Added (GVA) accounted for by manufacturing has fallen since the early 1950s. The change in manufacturing output over the long term is determined primarily by changes in its principle factors of production: labour and capital. An increase in either of these factors will tend to lead to an increase in output – however higher manufacturing output has been achieved despite a steady fall in the number of jobs and broadly stable capital stock. Therefore over this period labour productivity, as measured by output per labour hour worked, has increased. In other words, the manufacturing industry has become more productive. This article will analyse several potential reasons for the increase in manufacturing productivity over the long term such as: a better quality workforce; an improvement in the information technology base; a change in the composition of the UK manufacturing industry; more investment in research and development; capital deepening; and a more integrated global economy. These factors are intended to inform and encourage the debate around changes in manufacturing productivity rather than provide a comprehensive and definitive explanation.

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