U.S. Industry & Trade Outlook '99: Good Times Will Continue

More than 80% of manufacturing industries and all the major service sectors of the U.S. economy are expected to grow in 1999 and beyond, indicates the annual U.S. Industry & Trade Outlook '99 released Jan. 26 by the Commerce Dept. and its partner in the project, McGraw-Hill Cos. Of more than 200 manufacturing and service industries covered in the massive volume (formerly called the U.S. Industrial Outlook), highest growth is forecast for the information-technology sector. It is projected to grow 8% in 1999 from its 1998 level, topping last year's 7.6% rise. Other industries expected to enjoy brisk growth in 1999: instruments, medical, and dental equipment (5%); aerospace (4.7%, although down from last year's unusual 20.9% climb); construction materials (2.3%); selected consumer durables (2%); industrial supplies (2%); and chemicals (1.9%). The projections for individual industries are based on assumptions by Commerce and McGraw-Hill that the U.S. economy will grow between 1.7% and 2.7% a year in 1999 and 2000, a performance the Outlook calls "favorable, but down considerably from the expected 1998 gain of 3.4%." Internationally, the Outlook projects economic growth in 1998 and 1999 to "average more than a percentage point less" than 1997's growth of more than 4% because of the downturn in Asia and its spread to other markets.

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