Instead, say executives and observers, business for makers of items from bulldozers to semiconductors to food products is on an upswing thanks to steady global economic growth, a rise in energy and other commodity prices, and increased confidence. Overall in the U.S., the sector is adding jobs.
Manufacturing “absolutely has improved relative to where we were a year ago,” said William Strauss, a manufacturing economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who described the sector’s growth as modest.
Various measures of industrial production, spending, sentiment, and employment have climbed, while stock markets have risen to record highs partly in anticipation that the businessman-turned-president would usher in reduced taxes and fewer regulations.
“Global macroeconomic conditions are solid,” Rockwell Automation Inc. Chief Executive Blake Moret told analysts, citing “strong orders” and optimistic forecasts for global gross domestic growth and industrial production.
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