While economic growth in the United States is expected to slow in the first quarter of 2012, the manufacturing industry is expected to grow. In the past two years manufactureres have added 330,000 new jobs. Part of the reason for this growth has to do with rising costs in foreign manufacturing. When costs rise elsewhere, manufacturing in the United States can become attractive.
Cary Leahey, managing director at Decision Economics comments on the anomaly:
"The overall economy lacks oomph and is having trouble creating jobs. Manufacturing is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing story."
Equalizing costs are not the only reason for the resurgence in interest. Even though manufacturing is currently only growing slightly faster than the whole of the economy, experts believe that the years following the current economic depression will represent a renaissance era for high-tech and innovation based production efforts.
From aeronautics to robots, high-speed cotton mills, and 3-D model making, this growth will be about change and transformation from what we have done in the past.
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief at Wired remarks about the upcoming transformations in manufacturing:
“Change is good, and disruption is the ultimate change.”
“We are democratizating the tools of production now...if done right, we can power manufacturing in the 21st century.”
Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida adds:
"We're not firing on all cylinders yet, but we are still moving down the road"
Analyst are watching the Federal Reserve closely and hoping there is still room for more economic stimulus. I know the government currently offers incentives to companies that pursue innovation-based solution to grow their businesses. Hopefully these manufacturing trends will continue as the year progresses and we can move one step closer to realizing a renaissance in American manufacturing.