The U.S. manufacturing sector will grow steadily through 2016, according to a new report from the MAPI Foundation, a research group of the Manufacturer’s Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. Its latest quarterly U.S. Industrial Outlook, released this month, calls for 3.4% growth in 2014, 4% in 2015, and 3.6% in 2016.
Manufacturing industrial production increased 4% in the first half of 2014, the group said, noting that growth in the sector continues to outpace that of the overall economy.
“The proximate cause for faster industrial growth is that demand has shifted toward manufactured goods,” MAPI Foundation Chief Economist Daniel J. Meckstroth said in announcing the report. “Durable goods, equipment, and construction have long lives and therefore are temporarily postponable, especially during economic downturns and times of uncertainty.”
Meckstroth pointed to energy infrastructure, residential and nonresidential construction, transportation equipment, and medical supplies and equipment as key growth drivers through 2016. Construction machinery, at 11% growth, and housing starts, at 10% growth, will lead growth in the near term, while housing and aerospace products will spur growth in 2015. Looking ahead to 2016, Mekstroth says housing should continue its strong momentum, followed by electric lighting and private nonresidential construction.
According to the report, non-high-tech manufacturing production (which accounts for 95% of the total) is anticipated to increase 3.2% in 2014, 3.8% in 2015, and 3.2% in 2016. High-tech industrial production (computers and electronic products) is projected to expand by 4.7% in 2014, 8.5% in 2015, and 10.4% in 2016.
The report comes on the heels of other positive economic reports from the manufacturing supply channel. August’s Global Purchasing Index, for example, revealed continued optimism among buyers of electronic components, and the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Manager’s Index continued its upward climb last month, reaching its highest level in more than three years.