Manufacturing continues to lead the way out of the recession. Starting in August 2009, U.S. manufacturing output has grown every month through April 2011, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Because of these positive results, manufacturers are looking to hire skilled workers in the near future.
Manufacturing reached its highest point since 2004 in February when it hit 61.4 on the ISM scale of 1-100. Anything above 50 means manufacturing is growing, and anything below 50 means manufacturing is shrinking. Since reaching that high a few months ago, it fell slightly to 61.2 in March and now 60.4 in April. Despite the slight drop, this is still a strong number.
The weak dollar has been both a blessing and a curse for manufacturers. It’s made American products less expensive for international buyers, but it’s also driving up costs by making building materials more expensive.
Manufacturers are being forced to walk a tight rope. On one hand, their costs are going up, putting pressure on their prices to increase. On the other hand, consumers are still struggling with high unemployment and rising prices for many products, so they might not be willing to pay higher prices for electronics, appliances and other manufactured goods.
To keep costs down, manufacturers can use manufacturing inventory software. Manufacturing inventory software helps them streamline complicated manufacturing processes and keep an optimal number of parts and products in stock to meet demand.
If demand stays strong and manufacturers don’t go overboard on production, the manufacturing industry could remain at the forefront of the economic recovery.