Logistics business news: Latest Commerce report reflects uncertainty in U.S. manufacturing sector

After growing faster than the overall economy during the first year of the recovery, manufacturing has clearly downshifted into low gear, noted spokesmen for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

By ·

After growing faster than the overall economy during the first year of the recovery, manufacturing has clearly downshifted into low gear, noted spokesmen for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

According to the latest U.S. Department of Commerce report, new orders for manufactured goods edged down 0.5 percent in August.

“Today’s report marks the second decline in factory orders in the past three months,” said NAM. “Much of the overall August decline was due to a 40.2 percent plunge in volatile non-defense aircraft orders, which tend to fluctuate from month-to-month.”

Josh Green, CEO of Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, told LM that “the jobless recovery” is partly to blame.

“While we feel that the manufacturing sector is on a positive trajectory, it’s hard to explain that to people out of work,” he said.

Orders in the rest of manufacturing actually rose 0.4 percent in August, due chiefly to rebounds in machinery, computers and electronic products. But even with these increases, orders in these areas have slowed considerably from earlier in 2010, signaling that business investment will not likely continue to be the catalyst for economic growth as it was in the second quarter of the year.

Continued declines in new orders for construction materials and supplies and consumer goods show that housing and consumer spending have similarly weakened now that much of the temporary boost from several fiscal stimulus measures has ended.

According to NAM, the weak status of the labor market and increased uncertainty – stemming from possible federal tax and regulatory changes that are looming – will likely weigh down the recovery.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
The Cloud Supply Chain Data Network
Understanding the Power of a Shared Online Network to Connect Global Partners and Achieve High Data Quality Levels
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that could successfully combine transportation services and technology capabilities under one roof.
Warehouse & DC Operations Survey: Ready to confront complexity
2016 Quest for Quality Awards Dinner
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Digital Evolution: Streamlining Logistics and Supply Chain Operations
In this FREE virtual conference we'll define the challenges facing operations and offer solutions designed to create dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, improved collaborative third-party relationships, and the ability to respond to changes at a moment's notice.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....

25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...