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Manufacturing Economy Update: How Was 2023’s First Half, and What’s Ahead in H2?

An IndustryWeek-hosted webinar sponsored by US Bank

This webinar was originally held on July 18, 2023, and is now available for On Demand viewing.

Sponsor: US Bank

Manufacturing orders declined for nine consecutive months through the end of May, and capacity utilization and productivity fell. On the other hand, construction spending on new factories is hitting record levels, hiring continues and the country’s biggest manufacturers are expressing confidence and optimism for the remainder of the year. 

So, what’s going on in the manufacturing economy? 

Hear from National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray and other industry forecasters about what’s working and what’s not in 2023 and what to expect for the rest of the year. Attendees will learn: 

  • How the industry has weathered headwinds such as rate hikes and slowing orders. 
  • What’s driving the big increase in industrial spending on facilities. 
  • What tailwinds to expect in the second half of 2023. 


Chad Moutray | Chief Economist | National Association of Manufacturers 

As an experienced chief economist with a demonstrated history of working in the government relations industry, Chad provides regular updates on the economy pertaining to the U.S. manufacturing sector, including regular briefings with senior NAM management, written analysis and professional speeches. Chad has worked closely with senior-level economists and other leaders from their member companies to gauge their views on the current state of the economy and policy as it relates to their businesses, and he has been highly engaged in briefing existing and prospective membership on economic trends.  

Chad received his Ph.D. focused in Economics from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 

James Bohnaker | Senior Economist | Global Think Tank - Cushman & Wakefield
As a Senior Economist within Cushman & Wakefield’s global think tank, James provides thought leadership, economic outlook presentations, and forecasting support to the firm’s leadership for a variety of property types and stakeholders.

James has an extensive background as a global macroeconomist and has provided strategic consulting for many of the world’s largest investment banks and corporations while in previous roles at Moody’s Analytics and S&P Global. James also previously worked at CBRE where he was a leading member of the firm’s economic and real estate forecasting platform.    

James’ expertise has been featured in leading news publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR’s Marketplace. He has a Masters degree in Economics from Old Dominion University and a Bachelors in Mathematical Economics from Hampden-Sydney College. James is a Certified Business Economist (CBE) and member of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE).

William L. Loftis | Managing Partner - Co-Founder | Blue River

As Managing Partner and co-founder of Blue River, William “Bill” Loftis developed a passion for M&A as a transaction principal. He co-founded one of Michigan’s largest title insurance agencies, which was subsequently sold to LandAmerica Financial Group, a Fortune 500 insurance underwriter. He participated in M&A evaluations and national assimilation projects at the highest levels for LandAmerica (now part of Fidelity National).

Mr. Loftis has assisted buy and sell-side clients through the M&A process in multiple industries, such as, financial services, military equipment, forestry, automotive, mining, specialty chemicals, steel, surgical equipment, business services, construction, real estate, title insurance, pharmaceutical clinical trials, food distribution and others.

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