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Renita Jablonski: The government reported yesterday industrial production declined in May, and manufacturing output was flat. These days, the U.S. isn’t considered the most competitive place for a new factory. But a new Deloitte survey of North American manufacturing execs is optimistic better times are ahead. John Dimsdale reports from Washington.
John Dimsdale: The 321 manufacturers who participated in the survey are bullish about the prospects for their industry in North America. Fifty-seven percent think U.S. competitiveness will increase over the next five years, in spite of red-hot economies in India and China. But wages are rising in those countries, and the weak dollar makes U.S. goods more affordable overseas.
And Frank Vargo, with the National Association of Manufacturers, says there’s a third reason for optimism:
Frank Vargo: The cost of transportation across the Pacific, because of the increased energy costs, is rising rapidly. So that’s raising the cost of those imports and is further moving the balance back our way.
To keep North America’s local edge, Vargo says Congress should approve more free trade agreements, and extend the expired research and development tax credit to spur more innovation.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.