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The Empire State Manufacturing Survey expanded strongly in October, growing at a three-year high. The composite index of general business conditions jumped from 24.4 in September to 30.2 in October, a pace not seen since September 2014. Activity in the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s district was buoyed by healthy monthly improvements in shipments (up from 16.2 to 27.5) and employment (up from 10.6 to 15.6), with hiring expanding at its fastest rate in eight years. At the same time, both new orders (down from 24.9 to 18.0) and the average workweek (down from 5.7 to zero) eased. Demand remained relatively robust, however, with 32.2 percent of respondents saying that orders had increased in this report.

Meanwhile, manufacturers in the New York region remained very upbeat about the next six months. The expectations composite index rose from 39.3 to 44.8, and it has averaged 41.2 over the past 12 months. In the 12 months prior to that, the average was 27.2, illustrating the acceleration in optimism seen for much of this year. Along those lines, growth in new orders (up from 43.7 to 44.8), shipments (up from 37.0 to 43.4) and employment (up from 13.8 to 17.2) strengthened in October to decent levels, with 55.4 percent of those completing the survey anticipating more sales in the months ahead. Pricing pressures (down from 42.3 to 41.4), capital expenditures (down from 24.4 to 21.9) and technology spending (down from 17.1 to 16.4) were also expected to grow strongly over the next six months, even with each decelerating slightly in this release.

The post New York Fed: Manufacturing Activity Expanded in October at a 3-Year High appeared first on Shopfloor.

American food and beverage manufacturer PepsiCo celebrated Manufacturing Day by highlighting the role of women in manufacturing, the importance of a skilled workforce, and PepsiCo’s efforts to develop high school talent.

In addition, PepsiCo executives and employees who have been awarded PepsiCo’s Chairman’s Circle of Champions rang in the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange – with the Manufacturing Day logo displayed behind them.

But one facility in Canton, Ohio that is a part of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division celebrated something a little extra special on Manufacturing Day – their 50th anniversary.

The plant, opened in 1967 with two production lines and 75 full-time employees, manufactured Rold Gold pretzels, rods, and twists. Today, the facility has since doubled in size and staff and still manufactures Rold Gold snacks.

In addition to celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Canton facility also honored one of its employees who has worked there since 1990 by welcoming him into PepsiCo’s “Circle of Champions.”

Team member George Kilgore has driven over 2 million miles transporting Frito-Lay products throughout the region – and he’s never had a single accident:

New Circle of Champions member George Kilgore has been driving for Frito-Lay and based at the Canton operation since 1990. He has driven nearly 2 million miles without a mishap transporting products to Frito-Lay warehouses and customers in Ohio and neighboring states. He drives an average of 90,000 miles per year and should pass 2 million miles in the coming year.

Kilgore drove farm equipment as a teenager and started as a professional truck driver when he was 19. He worked a few years for other companies before joining Frito-Lay. Because of his safety record, Kilgore often is training other drivers and working with the company on training programs.

 

Image Credit: CantonRep.com

It’s a reminder that Manufacturing Day isn’t just about celebrating our industry – it’s about celebrating our people.

The post PepsiCo Celebrated Manufacturing Day, But Its Facility In Ohio Also Marked A Special Milestone appeared first on Shopfloor.

Today the US Supreme Court granted review in a case involving whether the United States Government can use a traditional domestic warrant to access emails belonging to foreign citizens residing outside the United States and stored in the cloud on servers also located outside the United States.  The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found against the Government on this issue.  The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action provided amicus support to Microsoft when this case was before the Second Circuit, arguing that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act never anticipated this type of scenario and was not intended to reach beyond the borders of the US.  Our brief can be accessed here.

The Supreme Court’s decision today to review Microsoft’s victory in the Second Circuit is further proof that Congress needs to act to update laws governing electronic communication.  The cloud is helping to power today’s modern manufacturers and the industry urges Congress to give it the clarity it needs to continue being the world’s leading innovators by taking up and passing the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA) of 2017 now.  We intend to share this view with the Supreme Court as it confronts this important issue.

The post Regardless of SCOTUS Decision, Manufacturers Need Congress to Act on Electronic Communications appeared first on Shopfloor.

This morning, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a directive designed to end the practice known as “sue and settle.” The Agency-wide directive requires the agency to:

  • Publish any notices of intent to sue the Agency within 15 days of receiving the notice;
  • Publish any complaints or petitions for review in regard to an environmental law, regulation, or rule in which the Agency is a defendant or respondent in federal court within 15 days of receipt;
  • Reach out to and including any states and/or regulated entities affected by potential settlements or consent decrees;
  • Publish a list of consent decrees and settlement agreements that govern Agency actions within 30 days, along with any attorney fees paid, and update it within 15 days of any new consent decree or settlement agreement;
  • Expressly forbid the practice of entering into any consent decrees that exceed the authority of the courts;
  • Exclude attorney’s fees and litigation costs when settling with those suing the Agency;
  • Provide sufficient time to issue or modify proposed and final rules, take and consider public comment; and
  • Publish any proposed or modified consent decrees and settlements for 30-day public comment, and providing a public hearing on a proposed consent decree or settlement when requested.

Manufacturers have long sought greater transparency and public participation in the settlement process. In fact, we requested a great deal of this relief four-and-a-half years ago, in an April 2013 letter to then-Administrator Gina McCarthy. As the entities primarily regulated by these settlement agreements and consent decrees, it is simply not fair that manufacturers are regularly left in the dark as EPA and other non-regulated entities work out the terms of our regulation behind closed doors. Allowing an open, transparent settlement process that abides by the law is the right policy and we’re grateful to Administrator Pruitt for today’s action.

The post EPA Issues Directive Protecting Against “Sue and Settle” appeared first on Shopfloor.

Next week, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on its budget resolution, which will take Congress one step closer to reforming our outdated tax code.

What does this have to do with manufacturing workers? Everything.

Passing the budget is a critical first step toward enacting bold tax reform—the kind of tax reform that manufacturers have been championing. Manufacturing workers, and all workers for that matter, have a great deal at stake.

Manufacturers have made it clear: if tax reform passes, we’ll see bigger paychecks, more jobs, and growing businesses. That adds up to a stronger economy.

The NAM is already hearing from manufacturers about their plans once tax reform is enacted. Rich Gimmel is Chairman of fourth-generation family-owned Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc., headquartered in Kentucky. Atlas is a heavy-capacity industrial machinery engineering, manufacturing and remanufacturing center, and according to Gimmel, the plan laid out in the recently-released Big Six framework “would allow our company to increase its reinvestment in manufacturing capacity and research and development by approximately 40 percent.”

Gimmel’s company is a great example of how tax reform will benefit hardworking Americans. By its nature, manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry. Reducing the tax burden on manufacturers will free up the money they need to buy new equipment, create more innovative products and, ultimately, add more jobs. And by creating new and better products, manufacturers will also be able to attract new customers, further growing their businesses.

The nation’s more than 12 million manufacturing workers earn, on average, nearly $82,000 per year in salary and benefits. Tax reform can help spur the creation of even more of these good-paying jobs for American families.

The post Approving the Senate’s Budget Resolution is Key to Boosting Manufacturing Workers’ Paychecks appeared first on Shopfloor.

The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent in September, bouncing back ever-so-slightly from declines in each of the past two months. With that said, the data continue to reflect softness due to the hurricane-related reductions in activity from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the Federal Reserve estimates that this subtracted 0.25 percentage points from growth in the month.

Beyond weather, we have seen a lot of volatility in the output data for the manufacturing sector since the spring—essentially seesawing from month to month since March. This has meant that production has grown been less than we would have desired or expected, especially given the more-robust outlook seen in other data sources. As a result, manufacturing production has risen by 1.0 percent over the past 12 months. While this is better than last year—when the year-over-year rate was -0.1 percent—we would prefer a faster pace of growth. Indeed, the year-over-year pace has drifted lower since April’s 1.8 percent pace.

Manufacturing capacity utilized was unchanged at 75.1 percent in September. Utilization rates have trended down since peaking at 76.0 percent in April, but capacity continues is slightly higher than the 74.9 percent rate seen at this time last year.

Digging into the underlying data were mixed. Durable goods production increased by a relatively healthy 1.0 percent in September, but nondurable goods output fell by 0.9 percent for the month, declining for the second straight month. The largest gains were in the nonmetallic mineral products (up 3.1 percent), machinery (up 3.0 percent), wood products (up 1.6 percent), plastics and rubber products (up 1.1 percent), computer and electronic products (up 0.9 percent) and fabricated metal products (up 0.7 percent), among others. In contrast, chemicals (down 2.6 percent), petroleum and coal products (down 1.7 percent), apparel and leather (down 1.0 percent) printing and support (down 1.0 percent) and paper (down 0.9 percent) led the declines in September.

Meanwhile, total industrial production also rebounded, up 0.3 percent in September after falling in both July and August. All three subcomponents of industrial production were higher for the month. In addition to manufacturing, mining (up 0.4 percent) and utilities (up 1.5 percent) activity improved in September.

Over the past 12 months, industrial production has risen 1.6 percent. This was notably better than the 1.2 percent year-over-year decline seen in September 2016, but down from the 2.2 percent year-over-year pace seen in May. Mining production rose 9.8 percent year-over-year, with utilities production off by 4.1 percent over the past 12 months. In addition, capacity utilization rose from 75.8 percent to 76.0 percent in this release. This was off from 76.6 percent in April but better than the 75.6 percent reading seen one year ago.

 

The post Manufacturing Production Edged Higher in September but Still Exhibits Hurricane-Related Softness appeared first on Shopfloor.