The Economic Perspective: “Is Manufacturing Slowing?”

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if manufacturing is slowing.   Mike, although manufacturing is no longer the dominant industry it once was, it is still a major part of our economy.  Indeed, many say it is a leading indicator, meaning turns in manufacturing lead turns in the overall economy.  So give us an update on how manufacturing is doing today.

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. First – background
  2. Manufacturing always takes a big hit during recessions – manufacturing output was down almost 20% during the Great Recession
  3. Then came roaring back, and has been expanding around 4% to 5% in recent years
  4. Most recently growth has slowed – indeed, growth has slowed to nothing
  5. Two reasons – expansion is now old – companies and consumers have re-stocked their manufactured items
  6. Trade war
  7. We need to watch manufacturing – not overstating to say, as manufacturing goes, so goes the economy
  8. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.