A monthly round-up of the MAPI resources available to NFPA members through NFPA's membership in MAPI.

Issues in the Brief

Central Europe’s Resilience
The Great Recession of 2008-2009 hit the European economies hard, and the continent’s incomplete recovery was interrupted by renewed weakness in early 2012. This slowdown was spurred by the EU’s various fiscal consolidation measures and by a hesitating private sector that held back expenditures in the face of ongoing financial woes. Just over a third of the EU member states found themselves in a second downturn and almost half of industrial economies met a technical definition of recession, i.e., two consecutive quarters of decline. Yet parts of Central Europe fared better than even Germany or Austria. Why did emerging economies, which in the past had been more susceptible to contagion during crises, turn out to be more resilient?

Designing Sales Compensation Plans So Everyone Wins
U.S. companies spend an estimated $800 billion on sales compensation annually. All too often, these plans are at least somewhat misaligned with strategy, which itself is a moving target. More than 90 percent of companies change their sales compensation plans annually, with major redesigns occurring every five years. In this article, Cam Mackey explores one approach for making better sales compensation design choices and concludes with recommendations from the MAPI membership.

Canada's Oil: Going South, West, or ... East?
The recent oil glut in the U.S. Midwest, which has resulted in a significant price discount for Canadian crude, and the projected increase in oil sands production are pressing industry to upgrade oil transport infrastructure in every direction. While the U.S. Gulf Coast is the primary target of current projects, access to other markets is also sought: Asia in the west, and Canada in the east. In the latter case, cheap Western Canadian crude would replace more expensive foreign oil in Eastern Canadian refineries.

Two Distinct Manufacturing Forecasts for 2025
The United States could, with just a little help from policymakers, experience a manufacturing renaissance in the next decade with profound effects on national living standards. That’s what a new joint study by MAPI and the Aspen Institute forecasts. On the other hand, if it’s business as usual with no policy changes—or, worse, bad policy changes—that resurgence won’t occur. What a colossal missed opportunity that would be.

Economic Review

U.S. Industrial Outlook 4Q 2012 - Video Summary

MAPI believes that the fourth quarter decline in economic activity is not the beginning of another recession or a harbinger of one. On the contrary, the end-of-year weakness was a correction in production to temporary surges in the third quarter. This quarterly video provides an overview of the health of the domestic manufacturing sector and reviews the performance of a selected group of its most important subsectors. The forecast is that manufacturing production will increase 2.2% in 2013 and 3.6% in 2014.

Economic Report

U.S. Industrial Outlook 4Q 2012
MAPI believes that the fourth quarter decline in economic activity is not the beginning of another recession or a harbinger of one. On the contrary, the end-of-year weakness was a correction in production to temporary surges in the third quarter. This quarterly report provides a detailed look at the health of the domestic manufacturing sector and reviews the performance of a selected group of its most important subsectors. The forecast is that manufacturing production will increase 2.2% in 2013 and 3.6% in 2014.

Manufacturing Facts: A New MAPI Production, is a collection of the key facts and figures that define the state of the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing Facts: Manufacturing Leads on Renewable Energy Usage
Manufacturing is a strong leader in the use of renewable energy. In 2011, the industrial sector used 2,291 trillion BTUs of renewable energy, compared with 1,884 trillion BTUs from the transportation, residential and commercial sectors combined. Renewable energies provide an efficient and environmentally friendly means to power various manufacturing activities.

Manufacturing Facts: The U.S. Isn't The Easiest Country To Do Business In
The World Bank performs a comprehensive analysis of structural costs to start and conduct business in virtually every country in the world. The United States is high on the list of several hundred countries but it is not at the top. The U.S. ranks fourth, and Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand are ahead of us. A sign of the growing prowess of the Asian economies is that Hong Kong was ranked seventh in 2005.

Manufacturing Facts: Trade Engagement Pays Through Higher Wages
Higher employee compensation and trade intensity go hand in hand. Employees in the most trade-intensive industries -- where combined exports and imports amount to at least 75% of their domestic industrial output -- earn an annual compensation package averaging $93,770. This is close to 50% higher than average compensation in the least trade-engaged sectors of manufacturing. Industries in this most trade-engaged category also account for about half of U.S. manufacturing trade.

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This report is made available by NFPA as a service to the fluid power industry and contains information provided by companies in the industry. NFPA does not recommend or endorse any particular use of this report. NFPA, its directors, members and employees are not responsible for errors or omissions in the report or for loss arising from its use and disclaim all warranties and guarantees, express or implied, with respect to the information in this report.