I keep getting a lot of interesting reading from various websites, publications and Twitter fed stories. Almost too much to get through but fortunately these things come to me and I do not have to go searching for them.
First, I read in Kiplinger Report an interesting comment on lower gas prices. The report said, “Cheaper oil is effectively a tax cut, worth $100 billion to consumers this year. Generally, each penny decline in retail gasoline prices adds $1.4 billion in purchasing power to the economy if it is sustained over the course of a year”. Of course, I am already seeing prices creep back up in my area, but the facts are still pretty staggering. That’s a lot of money that goes back into the economy.
Next, an article from Autocar Professional’s January 21, 2015 issue caught my attention. Nothing that we have not heard about before but this headline was still quite interesting – “India poised to drive ahead of China as world’s fastener growing economy: IMF”. The article states that India is set to become the world’s fastest growing major economy by 2016-2017, which is right around the corner. It notes, “The slowing Chinese economy is grappling with overcapacity in its export-dependent manufacturing sector and also bearing the brunt of slowing orders from Europe”.
You might be able to find the entire article if you go looking but I will make things easier for you. I somehow crossed paths with an industry site called strategise.in which is a leading Global B2B Marketplace & Sourcing Platform for the fastener industry based in India. Their site had many interesting articles and links and is worth checking out.
Finally, I stumbled across an article in Industry Week titled “The False Narrative of the US Manufacturing Renaissance” which suggested that while some companies have moved manufacturing back to the U.S., there were still 15,000 fewer manufacturing establishments in 2013 than there were in 2007. The article references a report from Harry Moser of the Reshoring Initiative (an often mentioned resource on Fully Threaded Radio) that stated that “at present around 30,000 to 40,000 manufacturing jobs are reshored while 30,000 to 50,ooo jobs are offshored annually. This is still a vast improvement from the 2000’s when the U.S. offshored as many as 150,000 annually but we still have a ways to go. One last quote, “To be sure, U.S. manufacturing has been growing since 2010, adding 520,00 jobs and expanding 2.4% in real value added growth. But, almost all of this growth represents cyclical recovery from the lows of the Great Recession”.
OK, well with all that being said I will add one more comment. Each Friday, there are several fastener industry members who use Twitter to communicate and discuss random topics. The topics change each week but this week’s was “How’s business so far in 2015?” Short and sweet when you have 140 characters to work with. There were maybe 15-20 responses this morning and every one of them was very positive with many reports of significant sales growth. If the fastener industry is a barometer of what is in store for the economy, then this would indicate things should be very good in the upcoming months. If you are new to Twitter, search #fastlink and you can pickup and join in the conversation.