The Commerce Department reported that real GDP expanded at a 5.7% annualized rate in the final three months of last year, its second straight quarterly expansion. A strong increase in exports and a further moderation in inventory liquidation were the largest contributors to the increase. This is good news to be sure, but as the Washington Post cautions in this piece, it “may veil weakness in the economy.” (I’d put it a bit more strongly than “may.”)
In any case, manufacturing has been one of the economy’s bright spots since the middle of last year. In the last two weeks the National Association of Manufacturers released two studies (links here and here) recommending a number of policy measures to enhance the global competitiveness of this sector.