Lull seems to be the right word. This isn’t a sudden drop, or a doomsday portent, but a dip from pandemic highs. The New York Times ran an article discussing the headwinds, and tailwinds, that the US manufacturing machine sits in between.
There was a huge unexpected boom during the pandemic, which led to the many and varied supply chain issues the global economy has faced. Now there are rising interest rates, and likely not unrelated, cooling consumer trends.
“It’s not one of these really concerning plunges, where we’re shedding a bunch of manufacturing jobs, but it seems kind of stalled,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “And I think the longer that lasts, the harder it’s going to be to rev things up.”
In contrast to some of the Fed’s economic policies, the U.S. government has taken steps focused in many ways on shoring up manufacturing.
Finally, over the last two years the passage of three major bills — the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act — made available hundreds of billions of dollars for the production of items like semiconductors, solar panels, wind turbines and bridge spans. Private funders have rushed to capitalize on the opportunity, even if much of it is still in the planning stages.
We’ll see what comes next. “Manufacturing is always at the forefront of the recession,” warns Barbara Denham, a senior economist at Oxford Economics. Read the whole piece here.
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