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Is Your Company Ready for The New Reality?

Is Your Company Ready for The New Reality?

Since August, 2015, when VMA’s 201...

Offshore Oil Extraction and Transportation

Offshore Oil Extraction and Transportation

Offshore oil facilities come to the fore...

Back to Basics: Pressure Relief Devices, Part 2

Back to Basics: Pressure Relief Devices, Part 2

In Part 1 of Pressure Relief Devices, wh...

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Industry Headlines

U.S. Adds 151,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Down to 4.9%

10 HOURS AGO  |  Chris Guy

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.1% to 4.9%, the lowest since Feb. 2008. Job gains occ...

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Industry Headlines

Watson Valve Announces Watson Valve Services, Australia

1 DAY AGO

Watson Valve Services Inc. announces Watson Valve Services, Australia. Watson Valve will now have the ability to support the supply of its severe service valve products to non-U.S. domestic sites from its Australian based service agent, Process Plants International (PPi) under the name, Watson Valve...

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Velan Makes Changes to Management Team

1 DAY AGO

Velan recently announced that Executive Vice-President (EVP) Ivan Velan has decided to reduce his work scope, but will remain with the company as Special Advisor to the President, Yves Leduc. Ivan will lead key projects and continue to support the management team.

Martin Allen joined Velan’s ...

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U.S. Oil Inventories Now at Record High

1 DAY AGO

Several factors have played a part in pushing U.S. crude oil prices below $30 per barrel, including high inventory levels of crude oil, uncertainty about global economic growth, volatility in equity and non-energy commodity markets, and the potential for additional crude oil supply to enter the mark...

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FERC Approves $3.2B Sabal Trail Pipeline Project

1 DAY AGO

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC, a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, LP, NextEra Energy, Inc. and Duke Energy, received a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct and operate the Sabal Trail interstate natural gas pipelin...

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U.S. Adds 151,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Down to 4.9%

10 HOURS AGO

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.1% to 4.9%, the lowest since Feb. 2008. Job gains occurred in several industries, led by retail trade, food services and drinking places, health care and manufacturing. Employment declined in private edu...

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U.S. Factory Orders Down 2.9% in December

1 DAY AGO

New orders for manufactured goods in December, down four of the last five months, decreased $13.5 billion or 2.9% to $456.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 0.7% November decrease. Overall, December orders were 6.6% below where they were one year ago.

Machinery orders...

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2008 Market Outlook: Another Good Year

But get ready for a down cycle as we near the end of the first decade of the new millenium.

When members of the Valve Manufacturers Association gathered in Coronado Beach, CA in August for the association’s Annual Market Outlook Workshop, they listened intently to forecasts from a bakers’ dozen of economists and industry prognosticators. While much of the news was positive—most of the end-user industries served by VMA members appear to be on track for another healthy year—they also heard words of caution. In more than one instance, presenters mentioned the “R” word (recession), giving attendees plenty of food for thought as they plan beyond 2008. Two other themes echoed by speakers? The ever-dwindling workforce and the need to recognize how the North American valve industry is inextricably intertwined with the rest of the world.

 

A Recession is Coming

Alan Beaulieu, economist for the Institute for Trend Research, had some disquieting news for Outlook attendees: This nation will see a recession in the year 2010.

However, he insisted the news was not necessarily all bad.

The good news is, we have a couple more quarters of prosperity,” he said.

Beaulieu said the economy is running just about where he predicted it would go at last year’s workshop, though he’s lowered the figures somewhat for the rest of 2007 and 2008. By 2009, the economy will start to go weak and by 2010, it will take a dip, he said.

“We have no empirical indications yet, but home prices are just the tip of the iceberg,” Beaulieu said. He expects to see oil prices heating up this winter, edging up above $80/barrel in the first half of next year. He also said wage inflation in many sectors has already started.

And he said the Fed will raise rates by 50 to 75 basis points in early 2008, “which doesn’t sound like much,” but, as a nation that carries a lot of debt, the extra $400 a month per household that would result, for instance, could have a chilling effect.

Also, by 2010 there will be a new president who will be facing a number of problems, many of which are tied to the aging Boomer generation. “Whoever is president will be dealing with Social Security, Medicare, drug programs, all of which are budget busters,” he said.

The need to pay for these and other entitlement programs will mean the U.S. will need to borrow money, which puts the country at a global disadvantage, Beaulieu added.

One advantage this nation does have is its demographics, he said. Unlike some countries, “we’re having kids,” at a rate of about 2.1, which is balancing out retirees. In comparison, Russia, where male life expectancy is only 57, is shrinking and will lose 50 million by 2050, “which is the equivalent of the Bubonic Plague,” Beaulieu pointed out. And India, though it will grow almost as much as the U.S., is dealing with a land mass one-third the size.

The U.S. also has industrial advantages. For example, when comparing U.S. Industrial Production to its Gross Domestic Product, “we spend most of our time in a positive track, and we have been for a long time,” Beaulieu said. Currently, goods and services as a percent of GDP is the highest it’s been since World War II.

“We are a profitable nation and prosperous. We are first in technological readiness, quality of research, productivity, profits,” Beaulieu said.

The U.S. is also first in percentage of total world exports of goods and services with Germany, China and then Japan following next. And though many fear China’s growing strength, Beaulieu noted the country has significant demographic problems because of an aging population and restrictions on family size. It also has 125 million more men than women, which raises fears about violence, and significant pollution problems that are killing hundreds of thousands of people.

“China has been on steroids,” Beaulieu said, “but you don’t fix problems like these overnight.”

Beaulieu had these tidbits of advice:

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