Global manufacturers are interested in seeing what the fourth quarter is looking like as 2017 draws to a close. The outlook for manufacturing is hopeful but, as always, will take some new turns with innovations and changes in global markets.
Major hurricanes impacted the United States — and its markets — this year, and political instability in various areas might give manufacturers reason to worry. That being said, the outlook is actually quite positive when looking at the numbers; for instance, the United States is seeing a rise in exports as well as in business spending, both of which inject new strength into a globalized economy, according to Manufacturing Business Technology. Trends in the Eurozone and Japanese economic growth also point to increased spending power and business strength, which bodes well for manufacturers in the U.S. and around the world.
According to the MAPI Foundation report, protectionist policies in North America could impact those around the world. With many manufacturers relying on international production or international markets, it is unclear how policy changes could make globalized trade in manufactured goods more difficult.
In particular, U.S. monetary policy is in question because of major Federal Reserve changes; thus, manufacturers have reason to worry this uncertainty might create more hesitant spending and slower growth. Iran and North Korean nuclear concerns also have the potential to impact global markets. Despite all these uncertainties, researchers are still seeing moderate growth in the manufacturing outlook as they begin forecasting as far out as 2021.
Continuing manufacturing trends and standards
While this month’s employment outlook is down very slightly, according to the American Institute for Economic Research, the overall trend is positive. There is reason to believe payroll increases will continue at a modest rate as they have since 2010. Another rather steady factor is inflation, which has been hovering around 2% for most of this year, resulting in a reasonably stable rate that benefits manufacturers as they anticipate how to price goods.
Are you ready for the new year? With the MAPI Foundation expecting manufacturing to grow 1.2% to 1.8% by 2021 with U.S. GDP growing alongside it at 2.1%, you just might want to prepare for your own plant’s development!