When all the numbers are in, manufacturing production should show 4.8% growth this year. However, in 2007 the growth will slow to 2.6%, just about half this year's figure, before rebounding to 3.4% growth in 2008, says Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an Arlington, Va.-based business and public policy research group.
Mining and oil and gas field equipment promise to be the big gainer in 2007, with production of such equipment expected to increase 11% from 2006. At the other end of the scale, household appliances look to be the big loser in 2007, with the alliance forecasting a 5% production decline from this year.
The alliance is predicting year-to-year declines as well for engine, turbines, and power transmission equipment (down 2%); iron and steel (down 1%); paper (down 1%); and construction machinery (down 1%).
Production of navigation, measuring, electro-medical and control instruments is expected to grow 9% between 2006 and 2007 -- as are airplanes and other aerospace products and parts. Eight percent year-to-year growth is foreseen for industrial machinery, communications equipment and computers. Production of medical equipment and supplies is expected to increase 5% -- as is production of pharmaceuticals and medicine.
Looking ahead to 2008, the alliance foresees aerospace and computers as the big production gainers, with each posting 12% growth from 2007. Production of ventilation, heating, air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment is expected to show 9% growth in 2008, following 3% growth in 2007. Construction machinery looks to be 2008's big loser, with production declining an additional 5% from 2007's 1% production decrease.