New Year Brings a Bright Outlook

December of 2011 has been noted as the month in which manufacturing grew at the fastest pace during the past six months. Hiring in U.S. factories continued to rise, with plants hiring more people more quickly since June of 2011. New orders also increased which shows a positive future in store for production. According to the Institute for Supply Management, in November the manufacturing index rose from 52.7 to 53.9-any reading above 50 marks expansion.

With the end of 2011 indicating expansions in the manufacturing industry, stocks surged on the first trading day of 2012 partly due to news that manufacturing also grew in India and China. The industrial average of the Dow Jones was reported to have gone up more than 250 points during the first hour of trading.

After the recession was officially over in 2009, factories were the first area of the economy to see improvement. And now, consumers have become more confident and in turn are spending more money. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index increased in December to the highest point since last April. This greatly affects the economy as consumer spending accounts for approximately 70% of the economy.  Economists predict that car sales also went up in December due to increased sales in November. Not only will those increased sales boost output of automakers but also for other industry suppliers such as steel companies and tire makers. The Department of Commerce reported that orders made for long-lasting goods also rose in November, mostly due to increased commercial aircraft orders.

Unemployment applications continue to drop as well, which proves companies have laid off fewer employees and are expanding their workforces. During the past three months, weekly applications have dropped by almost 10%. With such positive outlooks for 2012, an Associated Press survey of economists predicts a steady expansion of 2.4% in 2012.

As confidence grows and agencies continue to hire, proper industrial training increases in importance. ITC Learning offers SCORM based online courseware which is dedicated to improving the industrial skills of your employees. From control training and process training to air compressor repair and boiler training, ITC Learning administers all necessary training skills in an online format that is sure to educate your workforce.  Contact us today to learn how our manufacturing training courseware can make a difference in your output.

Image courtesy of & Salvatore Vuono