CIRAS DIGEST: Friday, August 21, 2015

  • Word comes from Business Insider and Markit Economics that “U.S. Manufacturing is Slowing Down.” The Purchasing Manager’s Index came in at 52.9 in July, its lowest level since October 2013.
  • Meanwhile, Voice of America News says Asian stocks fell after China posted some weaker than expected manufacturing data. Bloomberg Business lumps this in with a bunch of other topics as sign of an overall slowing world economy. And CNBC has a Chinese expert saying none of this is an indicator of the real economy over there because “manufacturing is history” and most investors in China are focused elsewhere.
  • Closer to home, The Kansas City Star has an AP story noting that Kansas lost nearly 1 percent of its manufacturing jobs over the last year – despite a 1.3 percent growth in U.S. manufacturing jobs overall and despite a series of “unprecedented tax cuts” to grow its economy.
  • The Manufacturing Leadership blog has a piece documenting how the U.S. dollar’s rise will erode U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
  • On a similar note, Morningstar has an article warning in its headline that “As China Devalues its Currency, Manufacturing-Sourcing Decisions Need to be More Strategic than Ever.”
  • And the same currency-related territory is covered in a Manufacturing Minute video – along with news that British researcher are looking at ways to embed electromagnetic coils in a highway and essentially let electric cars charge themselves while they drive.
  • Finally, still more gloomy economic news comes from Iowa Public Radio. Sales of convertibles are off 40 percent over the past decade. The story hints that convertibles in general may soon cruise into the sunset. Why? Changing tastes toward more practical cars, increasing fuel standards and changes in car production methods (most bodies and frames are now made as one piece, meaning automakers have to go back to the drawing board to turn out a convertible).

Thanks for reading.

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