CIRAS DIGEST: Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy Friday. Today, the Internet offers a little bit of everything when it comes to industry news. Tidbits include the fact that manufacturing in weak, that shoe-based innovation is still marching forward and that it’s hard to sell high-end Chinese liquor these days.

Here’s where you can find that and more:

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  • ICYMI, The Des Moines Register spent four paragraphs on a report by ISU/CIRAS economist Dave Swenson noting that credit unions contributed more than $1.1 billion to the Iowa economy in 2014.
  • Grad students from Iowa’s three public universities think they should have economic impact, as well. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, they’ll pitch a “financial retention incentive” plan to the Iowa Board of Regents next week that allegedly would stop the brain drain that comes when students are educated here, then flee the state. The plan calls for a 50 percent tax break for the first five years after graduation from an Iowa college if you live here; it goes up to 75 percent if you live in rural Iowa.
  • According to Business Insider, “American manufacturing is in recession.” But it might get better by the end of 2016.
  • Industry Week says part of the problem is a strong U.S. dollar.
  • Meanwhile, Iowa tourism is growing. Slightly better than the national average, according to a state report referenced in the Daily Iowegian.
  • A website for Investors Business Daily says Nike is preparing to “blow the socks off of automation” as part of an upgrading of an Oregon shoe production facility. A new “digital design system” is supposed to be capable of “nearly instantaneous digital print applications, photo-real 3D visualizations and ultra-rapid prototyping.”
  • And finally, if you want to ponder some manufacturing run amuck, the Iowa Public Radio site has an NPR story about empty factories and an unused airport in China that now sit as white elephants following an infrastructure boom that got ahead of itself.

Thanks for reading.

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