Manufacturing Outlook Solid for 3-6 Months, Blurred Beyond that by European Struggles

U.S. production should continue to move forward with solid growth through much of 2012, largely on the strength of the automotive and aerospace industries, says a manufacturing trade association economist and recent study.

Dan Meckstroth, chief economist and director of research for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) said the organizations latest measurement of the overall business outlook was essentially unchanged between November and December. Meckstroth characterizes this as an “extremely optimistic” view for continued expansion over the next three-to-six months. Granted, small businesses are somewhat less so because of its dependence of real estate values as a primary asset in most cases.

Meckstroth noted a “major driver” for U.S. manufacturing will be necessary capital spending on the part of most U.S. businesses because so much capacity shed during the downturn needs to be replaced. Other significant drivers for manufacturing, according the recently unveiled forecast, are tied to aerospace and motor vehicle/parts production, said Meckstroth, who recently appeared at a National Economists Club event. 

(Note: For extended coverage of this topic, check this week's eNews compilation available late Thursday afternoon at

Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer

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