Manufacturing Optimism in 2013

We’ve just come off an interesting year – ebbs and flows on wall street, a global economy still in recovery, a US presidential election, and much more. All of these impact manufacturing and we watch them closely. So at the beginning of every year we hear the same question; “Well, how do you think our industry is doing”?

The title of this blog post has two meanings. First, we’re optimistic about the manufacturing sector as a whole. Cautious optimism, yes, but optimistic nonetheless. The second meaning is a little more philosophical. We all need to create optimism to ensure the current recovery continues. We need to look for new opportunities, new techniques, and new reasons to be excited about the industry we share. And there are a lot out there.

Before we go any further, a word of thanks. CNC Software Inc., had our best year ever in 2012. We’re investing that success right back into the software through programming, R&D, and our in-house testing facility / machine shop.

Now let’s take a brief look at the manufacturing sector’s numbers. From a US perspective, manufacturing saw healthy growth from just after the ’09 crash until about mid-year 2012, when it dipped into contraction territory after nearly two and a half years of steady improvement. The good news is that it also ended the year back in expansion territory. A reason to be optimistic:

*Source: Institute for Supply Management.

The global manufacturing sector was a little more sluggish. It remained hovering around the no-growth line for all of 2012, and was in mild contraction for much of the last half of the year. The silver lining here is that the trajectory is good – the contraction slowed in the final months of the year and went back into positive territory at year’s end. Another reason to be positive:

*Source: Institute for Supply Management

With other indicators such as machine tool sales still going strong in a post-09 rebound, we’re eager to see what 2013 brings in terms of manufacturing optimism.

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