A new report from the Institute for Supply Management shows that manufacturing employment reached a nine-month high in March, and that the manufacturing sector is on a 32-month growth streak. The steady growth in the United States is a marked contrast from Europe, where manufacturing hit a three-month low last month. The healthy manufacturing numbers released yesterday are further fueling economists' predictions that the March jobs numbers—scheduled to be released Friday—will again top 200,000.
"It's been just gangbusters for the last 18 months," said Mike McCarthy, president of Bomco Inc., a maker of metal parts for aerospace and industrial equipment. "Even if it flattened out right now, I still have the demand for the expansion I've planned." But manufacturing alone can't make for a healthy economy. “Manufacturing can continue to lead the recovery, but that’s the production side,” PNC economist Hoffman said. “Clearly if what is produced isn’t bought ... then they can’t continue to, in effect, lead. They need to complete the circle.” Luckily, consumer spending and other economic indicators have been rising slowly and steadily the past few months as well.
- Have Rising Imports Cost 1.3 Million Jobs Since 2007? Bloomberg Businessweek
- Call That a Budget? The New Yorker
- Small Banks Shift Charters to Avoid U.S. as Regulator The New York Times
- Foreclosure Reforms to Widen The Washington Post
Chart of the Day
Data from this year's European Social Survey show that Scandinavian countries and France identify least with people in the pursuit of wealth, while Eastern Europe and many of the countries suffering most from the economic downturn are far more comfortable with admitting to desire expensive things.
Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning
During the NCAA championship last night—in which Kentucky won their first tournament since 1998—President Obama said during a pre-taped segment that when it comes to playing HORSE at the White House, "there's nobody really who can take me on around here."