Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


MAPI attends U.S. Chamber of Commerce Economic Roundtable

Senior economist reports calmer global economy, calls for regional policy innovation.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
May 20, 2013

In terms of the global economy, the alarm bells have stopped ringing. According to Cliff Waldman, senior economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), that’s one of the key takeaways from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Quarterly Economic Roundtable Series held earlier this month.

“There is a split decision out there,” says Waldman in a recent interview. “There’s less sense of emergency and imminent disaster around things like the Euro disintegrating, or a hard landing in China or Brazil. We’re in a world that’s calmer, but after five years of crisis it’s a chastened world, and almost bereft of dynamism.”

Manufacturing, in that climate, is going to have mixed results, he says. “With all the problems in the world and the fiscal dramas that came out of congress, it really slowed manufacturing down,” said Waldman, who said the picture looked very promising in the beginning of 2012, before closing the year with a little better than a 4% growth rate. Waldman thinks this will slow to 3% in 2013 and maybe return to 3.5% in 2014. “These are growth rates, which is good, but it’s very moderate growth.”

One issue Cliff brought up is the focus on the federal government, with economic questions centered too much around national concerns and national policy. “But economies advance on a regional level, in smaller units,” said Waldman. “So the focus shifts to regional policies toward a national end. That’s where the policy innovation has to happen. Not everything can come from Washington.”

For example, in New Jersey they are working to transform the unemployment system into a re-employment system. “That kind of approach at a national level could be one of the most productive diversions of resources we could do in this economic environment,” said Waldman. “These days, we need some innovative policy thinking in the unemployment insurance area.”

One of the audience members asked whether the persistent extension of unemployment benefits is responsible for high unemployment. “It’s been studied and in the U.S., and all the statistical evidence shows it’s at best a modest effect. In Europe I’m sure that is a problem, but in the U.S. there’s almost none of that.”

Waldman joined Martin Regalia, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum; and JD Foster, Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, The Heritage Foundation to discuss first quarter GDP data. The wide-ranging 90-minute discussion briefed an audience of about 80 researchers, government agency representatives and others on the economic outlook of the U.S. Economy, global economy and key sectors.

Hosted by the GFI Group and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the briefings offer the business community better insight into the impact of policies on their industries as well as to offer solutions to potentially negative effects.

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

IBM and Ohio State have formed a unique partnership to train students on supply chain management software. It's a model that other businesses and universities should emulate.

Located in the city of Jundiai, in the state of São Paulo, the plant has been configured for the assembly of selected automatic data capture product lines.

Gor the first half of 2014, NRF said that retail sales were up just 2.9 percent compared to the first six months of 2013, with sales through the end of the year expected to be up 3.9 percent annually.

Quarterly Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing Forecast (MHEM) indicates growth on horizon for industry.

Xtreme RFID manufactures rugged RFID tags that fully encapsulate RFID inlays in a one piece plastic housing to protect it from chemicals, water, impact, temperatures, and other unforgiving elements.

Article Topics

News · Economy · MAPI · All topics

About the Author

Josh Bond, Associate Editor
Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce. Contact Josh Bond


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA