Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


MAPI comments on industrial production report

U.S. industrial production contracted by 0.6 percent after strong gains in February and March.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
May 15, 2013

“In a disturbing report, the Federal Reserve announced that U.S. industrial production (manufacturing, mining, and utilities) contracted by 0.6 percent after strong gains in February and March,” said Cliff Waldman, senior economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). “The manufacturing picture, which constitutes the lion’s share of industrial output, is bleaker. U.S. factory production declined by 0.4 percent in April and has now contracted in three of the past four months. The output backslide in April was broad-based, with widespread weakness in both durable and nondurable manufacturing. Suppliers of numerous manufacturing supply chains such as machinery, nonmetallic mineral products, and fabricated metal products all suffered contractions in production, indicating fundamental factory sector weakness. Even wood products output, which had been enjoying substantial growth as a result of the modest U.S. housing rebound, has now seen significant contractions for two consecutive months.

“The persistence of subpar performance in the U.S. economy and weakness in key areas of the global economy are weighing on U.S. factories,” Waldman added. “U.S. capital spending has been volatile, a function of cloudy expectations for U.S. and global growth as well as policy uncertainty. The recession in the 17-country Eurozone has been deeper, wider, and longer lasting than almost anyone expected. And while growth in large emerging markets that are important to manufacturing profitability has bottomed, the rebounds in China, India, and Brazil are looking to be modest at best.

“Most likely, slow growth in the U.S. and world economies will continue,” Waldman said. “Central banks are flooding the globe with liquidity, and legitimate concerns about fiscal prudence are once again being overshadowed by concerns about growth. All told, U.S. manufacturing will likely continue with slow output gains as the year progresses. But the risks of something worse cannot be ruled out.”

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

In-plant trailers represent a tried and true method of moving materials through plants safely and efficiently. While trailers look alike at first glance, there are some significant differences that greatly affect performance and cost. The wise purchaser will study the differences and select the system that makes the best sense for the specific application. This complimentary white paper addresses the most important design factors to consider when specifying in-plant trailers.

Very often companies debate needing a new WMS or just muddling through while constantly adding to the List. The List is that set of notes that operations people wish their WMS could do. Every operation has their unique items, things their business requires that their WMS system doesn't do, or does poorly. This white paper reviews how to extend a WMS to allow the List to become a thing of the past.

MHI and our industry are in transition as materials handling’s profile is raised in the supply chain. The challenge is learning to speak the language of supply chain managers.

The acquisition of QuantiSense will extend Epicor's position as a leading provider of extended omni-channel solutions for midsize and large retail chains.

Partnership creates integral cleaning and sanitation program for reusable plastic containers.

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