Last updateFri, 24 Jan 2020 7pm

Chain Inaction

The UK's engineering excellence has been relegated to the shadows, perceived by politicians and the public as an economic sideshow. The wider investment community may be more respectful, yet many fund managers still have closed minds: manufacturing, they muse, is now an activity for the developing world.

The UK's pockets of world engineering leadership go beyond Formula 1. Weir Group, for instance, can eyeball any pump manufacturer anywhere, while Rotork's reputation as a valve manufacturer is unblemished. Fenner is a global leader in industrial belting, Rolls-Royce in aero engines and IMI in process plant and beverage dispensers.

Source: Interactive Investor

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Consumer Confidence Plunges to Lowest on Record

Layoffs, plunging home prices and tumbling investments have pushed consumer pessimism to record levels in October, a private research group said Tuesday. Wall Street shook it off, though, focusing instead on higher global markets amid optimism the Federal Reserve will ease interest rates further.

Source: Reuters

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Engler Poses Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement

National Association of Manufacturers President John Engler called for in-depth study of a “Transatlantic Free Trade Area” between either the European Union and the United States or the EU and the North American Free Trade Agreement nations.

In an address to Voka, the Flanders Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Engler said that despite the rise of China, India and other emerging economies, the U.S. and EU together account for 56 percent of Gross World Product.

Source: NAM

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Index of Leading Indicators Improves for First the Time in Five Months

The composite index of leading indicators increased 0.3% in September, to 100.6, the first increase in five months, according to preliminary estimates by the Conference Board.

But the leading index for August was revised sharply lower to show a drop of 0.9%, instead of the 0.5% first reported. Over the six months ended in September, the index has fallen 1.3%.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Group Blames Trade Deals for Lost Jobs

The United States must fix its trade problems, particularly unfair trade with China, which has cost the nation more than 3.5 million manufacturing jobs this decade including more than 200,000 factory jobs in Pennsylvania, a panel of labor and manufacturing leaders said Monday in Greensburg, PA.

The meeting, sponsored by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, highlights the need for a manufacturing policy like the nation's competitors', and a trade policy that is enforced, said Scott Paul, executive director of the alliance.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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