Factories keep humming
Here’s more good economic news.
U.S. factory output surged in December by the most in any month in 2011, offering the most visible evidence yet that manufacturing is roaring back from the recession’s depths even as declining prices at the wholesale level shows inflation remains in check, according to two reports out Wednesday.
Stronger demand for business equipment, vehicles and energy drove the 0.9% increase in manufacturing output, the biggest monthly increase since December 2010. And a larger portion of U.S. factories were operating, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in a report on the nation’s industrial production.
Overall output of the nation’s factories, mines and utilities grew 0.4% in December although warm weather dampened demand for energy produced by utilities.
Industrial output is now less than 5% below its pre-recession peak, reached in September 2007. It has increased more than 14% since hitting a recession low in June 2009.
We’re seeing improvement in the job numbers as well, so hopefully we’re now on a positive business cycle.
Will housing drive economic growth in 2012?
The housing slump has been a killer for economic growth since the great crash of 2008. Many people think we won’t be able to get the economy going until the housing market recovers. We’ve heard some good news lately, with an unexpected jump in housing sales at the end of 2011. Some bankers like Jamie Diamond are calling the bottom in real estate.
It will be interesting to see what happens. As we work through the housing inventory, consumers are finally feeling better about the economy. This could spark another home improvement boom. One thing to look for in 2012 is the health of retailers like Home Depot. If more Americans are feeling better about the economy and more homes start selling, then we could see this drive economic growth.
There are so many resources out there for consumers to do work on their homes. In-store shopping at places like home depot are very popular, as are online options. You can do research on price and design options very easily online. You can shop for furniture and other needs, like buying picture frames here, and you can save so much time and money while making your home look beautiful.
We’ve seen the auto industry recover. Now if we can see housing and home improvement make gains as well, then we might finally be on our way to a real recovery.
Chrysler keeps hiring
The news from Chrysler and the US auto industry keeps getting better. Here are some updates:
-it plans to add 1,100 jobs at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit by to build a diesel version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee
-In 2011, Chrysler’s sales increased 26.2% — the most of any major automaker
-Last month, Chrysler announced plans to reopen its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant to build the 2013 SRT Viper. That plant was idled in 2010. About 150 will be employed at that plant.
What we’re seeing is further evidence that the auto bailout was a huge success. It’s contributing to the overall rebound of the US manufacturing industry.
Also, Chrysler is making better cars. Sergio Marchionne is a great CEO. He saved Fiat and now he’s doing the same with Chrysler.
Posted in: Economy, General Business
Tags: auto bailout, auto industry, bailing out auto industry, car industry, Detroit bailout, domestic auto industry, Obama auto bailout, Obama Detroit bailout, Sergio Marchionne, success of auto bailout, success of Detroit bailout