CIRAS DIGEST: Monday, April 13, 2015

  • Topping the pessimistic pile, a lobbying group in Australia is warning that that country’s “dysfunctional” gas market is a “slow moving train wreck” that will kill up to 83,000 manufacturing jobs with an inevitable price spike, according to the Australian Financial Review. The concern involves fear that Australian companies are exporting too much of the natural gas produced there, and that (among other things) will soon drive up the cost for industry.
  • ICYMI, the were was an article in last week’s US. News & World Report touting technology and automation as the possible fuel for a “ ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ renaissance.” Essentially, automation is making it easier to make stuff here that used to be made overseas. As a result, manufacturing folks are predicting a rosy future, according to a survey quoted in the article.
  • In an interesting bit of similar optimism, the Indianapolis Business Journal ponders whether a push to live in city centers (millennials, etc.) means more manufacturers will start shifting their operations downtown. Indianapolis is contemplating ways to clean up abandoned industrial properties and get them back into the hands of someone who will use them as intended. Says one city official, “There’s got to be a way for the private sector to want to be here.”
  • Closer to home, Dubuque officials are feeling warmer about the state’ Home Base Iowa program but say the jury is still out on its effectiveness as an economic development tool. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald says there have been more chances in recent months for the city to pitch itself to retiring veterans, but it’s too early to tell if the work is worth the trouble.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

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