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MHIA May 2013 report indicates guarded optimism

Economic forcasts have been released by both Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing (MHEM) and Prof. Jeff Rosensweig of Emory University Atlanta. The MHEM series serves as a good proxy for the equipment based market in the Material Handling and Logistics Industry. Data is collected and reported monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Census according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

According to the MHEM report released in May, the US economy faces a major headwind in the form of the federal spending sequester. IHS predicts that these spending cuts will reduce annualized real GDP growth from 2.5% in the first quarter to 1.4% in the second quarter.  Nevertheless, the underlying fundamentals of the private economy remain solid, and growth can be expected to accelerate in the second half of the year, reaching a 3% pace by year-end. Through April, the sequester has had little measurable impact on employment. The average monthly gain in payroll jobs over the past three months has been just over 200,000, roughly the same pace as the prior three months. Hours worked and job counts in the public sector could be affected in the coming months, however. IHS predicts that the Federal Reserve will maintain its bond-buying program through the end of this year and into 2014. Though, in its recent policy statement the Fed gave itself greater leeway to do more or less, as developments in the economy dictate.

Rosensweig’s report indicates a positive sign with US exports reaching record highs. He also reports manufacturing output signaling economic recovery with 19% of companies reporting reshoring efforts in 2012-2014, up from 9% as reported in 2009/2011. 

MHI is the nation's largest material handling, logistics and supply chain association.