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  • Economic Growth Surges in Q4, but Beware…

    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...
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  • Energy Saving Motor Control

    As we all try to save energy, one of the most effective routes is through more efficient use of motors. This is so important because motors are everywhere - household appliances from cleaning to kitchen, domestic/commercial/industrial fans and pumps, and especially in electric vehicles, among many applications...
  • A Doozy of a New Year

    I sure hope the holidays were restful for our nation’s lawmakers, because the second session of the 111 th Congress is shaping up to be a doozy. First, we have health care reform – the House and Senate approved their respective bills in the waning days of 2009, and the process wasn’t...
  • Time for a New Economy Built Around Innovation

    This is typically the time of year -- when Americans have that shop-till-you-drop mentality -- that we hear about whether U.S. retailers will see red or black in their Christmas stockings. Such news, we're told, is important for a country whose economy, over the past two decades, has been driven...
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  • Bad News on Jobs

    Even as numerous indicators suggest that the economy is emerging from recession, one of the most important of all continues to worsen. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the unemployment rate rose to 10.2% in October (subscription required), its highest since April 1983. Statistics like...
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  • Touting "No Layoff" Companies

    Economic times are tough for all U.S. manufacturers, and many have had to lay off employees. But some advanced manufacturing facilities have opted not to fire anyone, event if it means switching their roles until production picks back up. You can count NEMA members among the companies that are keeping...
  • Green Shoot Sighting

    The July employment report was released by BLS this morning and came as a pleasant surprise. The unemployment rate actually declined - by a tenth of a percentage point to 9.4% - for the first time since April 2008. Let's not break out the champagne, though. Payrolls were still nearly 250,000 lower...
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  • Happy 100th!

    Wednesday marked the release of the 100th edition of NEMA's Electroindustry Business Confidence Index report. The EBCI tracks the evolution of business conditions facing the electroindustry in North America and three other world regions, as seen through the eyes of senior executives of NEMA member...
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  • The Tough Times Continue

    We can now clearly say that this is the manufacturing sector's deepest downturn since the dark days of the Great Depression (see the charts below for evidence). While the blood-letting will probably continue for some time, a few regional Fed surveys ( here , for example) and NEMA's very own Electroindustry...
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  • Saving Ourselves from Recovery?

    Newly-released data reveal that U.S. consumers are accumulating savings at a rapid clip. In the space of about a year, the personal savings rate has climbed from just above zero to nearly 6 percent-reaching its highest point since the early 1990s. During no other recession in the post-WWII era has the...
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