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

Issues in the Brief
Supreme Court's Ruling Narrows the Definition of "Supervisor"
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Vance v. Ball State Univ. is generally a positive result for employers, as it reduces the potential number of individuals who would qualify for supervisor status in a Title VII workplace harassment case. In cases where the supervisor liability rule applies, the employer is held vicariously liable for the actions of the supervisor irrespective of whether the employer itself was negligent. The majority emphasized that the authority to take tangible employment actions is the defining characteristic of a supervisor.

Do MAPI Members Enjoy a Natural Cyclical Hedge in Transatlantic Markets?
When completed, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will lift trade between the U.S. and the EU beyond an already elevated level. With tariffs low (below 5 percent, on average), major gains would accrue from tighter supply chains and integrated production platforms. These are bound to emerge when regulatory differences are narrowed or eliminated. Companies would save on product design, standardization, tests, etc., resulting in large-scale economies and lower prices. Consumers would ultimately benefit.

Social Media: An Indispensable Tool
While there are some shining examples of manufacturers' engagement with social media, overall, the sector is behind the curve. With many uses beyond marketing, particularly regarding human resources, investor relations and information sharing, manufacturers need to embrace these tools in order to maintain and elevate their standing in the marketplace. At stake are brand recognition, new investors, potential partnerships and new leads. The benefits can be enormous, and social media is a powerful tool that manufacturers cannot afford to ignore.

Economic Review

Global Outlook: A Chastened World, Bereft of Dynamism
If nothing else, the global economy can claim a bit of renewed stability. Unfortunately, widespread economic sluggishness remains a fact of life in key global regions. In the U.S., the frustrating pattern of weak growth persists. The recession in the eurozone, while showing tentative signs of easing, has been lengthy and deeper than generally expected. The sharp slowdowns in emerging market economies have reached a bottom and there is little indication of a significant rebound in the near future. Sluggish growth, problematic fiscal deficits in the advanced economies and elevated unemployment are expected to characterize the global economic picture for some time to come.

Business Outlook: Renewed (but modest) Momentum Ahead
Most indexes showed improvement since the last MAPI Business Outlook, and the composite index was 58 in June, up from 56 in March. The Current Orders Index rebounded to 53 after having fallen sharply to 47 in March. The rise in the composite index and the improvement in a number of the individual indexes point to a degree of renewed momentum in manufacturing activity over the next three to six months, although the index levels suggest the rate of expansion will be modest. Respondents also related their companies' responses to healthcare reform, including plans to offer consumer-directed or high-deductible health plans.

Latin America Manufacturing Outlook: Moderate Cyclical Growth Ahead
MAPI predicts that manufacturing production in Latin America will expand 2.1% in 2013, underpinned by a cyclical rebound in Brazil. A pronounced weakness among Mexican factories at the start of the year will put a ceiling on overall manufacturing growth in 2013. Conditions are set for faster manufacturing growth in 2014, although the expansion remains moderate at 2.8%. All three countries in the outlook should increase their manufacturing output next year, and our model points to Brazil and Mexico as the region's growth drivers.

Manufacturing Activity July 2013
Manufacturing production increased 0.3% in June. Machinery production rose 1.5%, motor vehicles was up 1.3% and medical equipment and supplies increased 1.4%. The moderate gain in manufacturing production was not uniform across industries; production in 10 of the 24 industries reviewed declined. The mixed results in other manufacturing industries reflect inventory corrections in response to weak domestic demand, adverse trade positions and structural change. MAPI forecasts that manufacturing production will increase 3.1% in 2013 and 3.6% in 2014.

Canadian Outlook: A Year of Promises and Pitfalls
For Canada, 2013 is a year of promises and pitfalls, each side taking the high ground in sequence as the first months went by. Employment and exports posted large gains in some months, then retreated during others. While various industries received a break from a stable currency, others stalled because of commodity prices. Manufacturing employment plummeted, sales have been decreasing and inventories increasing, and output declined in most industries. The dampening of domestic demand will be a challenge for the economy as a whole in the coming quarters, when exports and business investment will need to become the main sources of growth. Overall forecasts are still positive for 2013, but 2014 should be a better year—including for manufacturing.

European Industrial Outlook: Eurozone Recession to Last Through 2014

Every six months, the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) analyzes major industrial sectors of the Eurozone and Central Europe (which for MAPI's purposes is made up of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland). Other European countries are discussed as warranted to illustrate trends and broaden the analytical coverage. This report covers the actual data available through December 2013 and provides forecasts for 2013 and 2014. - See more at: http://www.mapi.net/research/publications/european-industrial-outlook-july-2013#sthash.zNC5wMes.dpuf

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: The Trade Gap Widens for Manufacturers

Trade has been rising faster than the overall economy for decades. Just a dozen years ago, imports made up about 31% of domestic consumption; they are now 40%. The reasons for this rising trade intensity remain unchanged from those of centuries past: manufacturing stays highly productive while merchandise commerce becomes more cost-effective over time.

Manufacturing Facts: The U.S. Lags Significantly in Graduating Engineers

While the industry-led growth of developing economies such as China and Korea would naturally give rise to a higher share of engineering graduates than in the U.S. and other rich nations, the U.S. engineering graduate share is markedly behind Japan at 17.1% and Germany at 12.4%. Even Canada and the U.K., whose manufacturing sectors have significant competitive challenges, have higher shares of first university degrees in engineering than the United States.

Manufacturing Facts: The U.S. is Losing Export Market Share
U.S. exports of manufactured goods face strong competition in many markets. In terms of global market share of manufactured exports, the U.S. share declined from 13% in 2000 to 7% in 2011, while China's rose from 5% to 14%.

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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.