CIRAS DIGEST: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

  • The U.S. manufacturing sector shrank for its fifth straight month, according to an index cited by CNN Money. But the New York Times read the numbers as appearing to “stabilize” – at the same time construction spending jumped and automobile sales slowed. Quoth an economist who responded in the Times story: “To be clear, none of this date are at levels suggesting a boom, far from it, but neither do they support the notion of an economy slipping into recession.”
  • At the same time, the Des Moines Business Record says it knows “top Iowa execs” who now are “less positive about short-term prospects” for Iowa’s economy.
  • In a similar mood, U.S. News & World Report this week unveiled a long Q&A with the president of the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Alliance for American Manufacturing beneath a headline referencing “American Manufacturing in Peril.” It can be summed up in this quote: “I don’t think that it’s inevitable that we have to lose a significant number of manufacturing jobs in the years ahead. But that’s incumbent upon broader growth in the economy, a more competitive and reasonable exchange rate and making some of those domestic investments so that we can ensure that we’re globally competitive. A lot of these are policy choices and not necessarily market forces.”
  • Meanwhile, the New York Post says “3-D Printing (is) Poised to Shake up U.S. Manufacturing.” The story notes that printers are “turning up everywhere.”
  • And according to an AP business story on KWWL-Tv’s website, Warren Buffett believes the “U.S. economy (is) better than presidential hopefuls say.”
  • And the Duluth News Tribune says a statewide study in Minnesota has figured out that more than 32 percent of all jobs in Minnesota come from manufacturing.

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