Heard in the Channel: Manufacturing Outlook Improves

June 18, 2013
The Manufacturer’s Alliance for Productivity and Innovation points to an improved economic outlook for the remainder of the year

Although economic growth for 2013 remains restrained, at least one industry group is calling for optimism now and through the early part of 2014. In a quarterly economic forecast released this month, the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) points to improving fundamentals as a key reason manufacturing-related business should be looking up.

MAPI predicts that inflation-adjusted gross domestic product will expand 1.8% in 2013 and 2.8% in 2014, showing no change from the group’s first-quarter report, released in February. Manufacturing growth will outpace the general economy, growing 3.1% this year and 3.6% in 2014.

“There are a number of reasons for an improved outlook,” MAPI chief economist Daniel J. Meckstroth said in a statement detailing the report. “Consumer deleveraging is close to an end and households have the capacity to use more credit; housing prices are rising and with that change comes a virtuous cycle of increasing wealth, consumption, and income that feeds back into more housing activity; pent-up demand is releasing postponed spending for consumer durable goods; and the job market is repairing itself—employment growth is more balanced among the various sectors.”

Meckstroth added that inflation, higher taxes, government spending reductions and negative net exports in 2013 and 2014 continue to restrain growth in both the overall and manufacturing economies.

Looking at specific industry sectors, MAPI expects production in non-high-tech industries to rise 3% this year and 3.5% next year, while high-tech manufacturing production—which accounts for 10% of all manufacturing—should grow 4.4% this year and 6.1% next year.

In other industry news, distributors and manufacturers announced a slew of new distribution agreements, industry awards and other announcements this month:

  • Avnet Embedded, a division of Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, announced a new distribution agreement with Rittal Corp. to represent its data center products. The deal expands Avnet’s data center offering to include Rittal’s broad portfolio of IT infrastructure solutions.
  • Future Electronics and GainSpan announced a new agreement in which Future will represent GainSpan’s portfolio of low-power Wi-Fi modules, evaluation boards, and application development kits (ADKs). This includes the company’s recently announced GS2011M Wi-Fi/ZigBee IP module.
  • Future Electronics also received two key awards recently: the distributor was named Volume Distributor of the Year for 2012 by manufacturer Littlefuse, Inc. and was recognized by TDK Corp. for outstanding sales growth in fiscal year 2013.
  • Mouser Electronics entered into a U.S. distribution agreement with Schneider Electric, representing Schneider’s industrial automation products for simple machine applications.
  • Allied Electronics recently received an “Exceptional Supplier” rating from customer Halliburton.
  • TTI, Inc. received two distributor awards from longtime supplier Vishay Intertechnology. The awards recognized TTI’s sales performance and inventory commitment.
  • Distributor BTC Electronic Components recently released a new video titled “More than a Number,” focusing on the distributor’s commitment to their customers.
  • Manufacturer Epec Engineered Technologies recently named Brian Morissette product manager for cable assembly.


Institute for Supply Management

2nd Annual Risk Management Conference
July 25-26, 2013

SMTA/CALCE Counterfeit Symposium
June 25-27, 2013
College Park, Maryland

ECIA Texas Chapter Meeting
July 10, 2013

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About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and GlobalPurchasing.com, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.