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Fracking boosts U.S. manufacturing: But by how much?

How is the gas and oil boom in the U.S. impacting the economy long-term?

With new data showing a narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit, in part because of a drop in oil imports, few dispute the massive impact that the fracking boom could have on American energy fortunes. Instead, the conversation turns to the size and scale of this boom. A number of analysts have suggested the shale revolution will turbo-charge the economy for years, a development on the order of the steam engine or the Internet.

Citigroup's Ed Morse has authored a report claiming: Energy 2020: North America, the NewMiddle East? 

Check out this jobs chart from that report:

Or this quote: "—Surging supply growth could transform North America into the new Middle East by 2020, driven by growth in shale oil and gas, deepwater and oil sands resources." Harvard research fellow Leonardo Maugeri, in the meantime, has authored a similar report entitled Oil: the Next Revolution.

A more moderated view is offered by our podcast guest this week. Trevor House of the Rhodium Group has a new report out suggesting "the long-term benefits are modest." To Houser, history suggests resource booms create manufacturing winners (resource sector) and losers (non-resource sectors). Here's his chart on how a resource surge affected Canada: blue bars winners, green bars losers. 

About the author

Scott Tong is a correspondent for Marketplace’s sustainability desk, with a focus on energy, environment, resources, climate, supply chain and the global economy.

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