Last updateWed, 18 Jul 2018 2pm


Cyber-Attacks are Major Risk in New Global Resilience Ranking

According to a recently released report by FM Global, the 2018 industrial Resilience Index, the risk of cyberattack now threatens the very existence of certain businesses, including manufacturing. Cyber-attacks raise the specter of stalled operations, disrupted supply chains, class-action lawsuits and permanent brand damage. The U.S. saw its rank in political resilience drop over the last year from 31st to 46th, but it comes in as a resilient environment for business, coming in the top 12% of all countries ranked.

But cyber vulnerability is just one of the indicators of the index which also reflects data related to economics, natural hazards and supply chains, and addresses concerns about business risks including political upheaval, fire and hurricanes. 

Durable Goods Orders Suggest Increase in Business Investment

New orders for manufactured durable goods in April decreased $4.2 billion or 1.7% to $248.5 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced. This decrease, down following two consecutive monthly increases, followed a 2.7% March increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.9%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.9%.

"Business capital spending on key industrial equipment rose back in April to start the second quarter on a positive note," Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG, wrote in a research note, adding: "The economy is firing on cylinders this quarter with both consumers and business investment adding to the mix on economic growth." 

IHS: Manufacturing at Strongest Level Since Sept. 2014

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI registered 56.6 in May, up fractionally from 56.5 in April, to signal the strongest improvement in business conditions since September 2014. May data revealed relatively strong rises in both manufacturing production and incoming new business, which survey respondents attributed to improving economic conditions and a continued recovery in domestic sales.

There were signs that manufacturers intend to boost production schedules in the coming months. Backlogs of work were accumulated at the strongest pace since September 2015 and payroll numbers increased to a greater extent than in the previous month. Moreover, business optimism regarding the year ahead outlook was the highest since February 2015. 

Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Up in May Survey

The Philadelphia Fed’s monthly survey indicate a pickup in growth for the region’s manufacturing sector. The indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all improved from their readings last month. The indexes for prices paid and received continued to suggest price pressures. Looking ahead six months, the firms continued to be optimistic about the outlook for manufacturing activity.

Over 43% of the manufacturers reported increases in overall activity this month, while 9% reported decreases. Both current new orders and shipments indexes improved this month, increasing 22 points and 2 points, respectively. 

Manufacturers Are Boosting Hiring, Wages and Investment

A new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) shows that manufacturers are keeping their promise after passage of the historic tax reform legislation by boosting wages, hiring and investment. The survey, released by Emerson chairman and CEO and NAM board chair David Farr during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, shows 72% of manufacturers are increasing employee wages or benefits, 77% are hiring more workers and 86% are investing in new equipment and facilities. Last month, the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey found optimism among manufacturers registered the second-highest level ever recorded (93.5%) in the 20-year history of the survey. 



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