Political risk moves to the forefront in the European crisis | Understanding China's residential property prices | Superstorm offers business opportunity to some companies
November 8, 2012
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MAPI Research and Insight
Political risk moves to the forefront in the European crisis
Krzysztof Bledowski, Ph.D., senior economist
The Eurozone crisis continues to ebb and flow, and it is buffeted by political swings that often emerge unexpectedly. This explains why markets and major partners of Europe, such as the United States, often find it perplexing to make sense of Eurozone policy initiatives. Amid the cacophony of statements, proposals, and ad hoc agreements coming out of Europe, it is not easy to decipher the political forces that shape them. The fact is that political risk remains potent and was underestimated in the period leading up to the crisis. This brief note sizes up the political landscape in major Eurozone nations. Issues in Brief
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Understanding China's residential property prices
Yingying Xu, Ph.D., economist
China's real estate sector attracts enormous attention from both policymakers and private investors. Residential housing prices rose at an unprecedented pace during 2009-2010; worried about a looming property bubble and the social unrest caused by the worsening housing affordability, authorities have implemented several rounds of tightening measures since then. These appear to have somewhat cooled down the market, but there are still many questions as to how far the price correction in the housing market should go. Issues in Brief
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MAPI in the News
Superstorm offers business opportunity to some companies
Manufacturers of generators and pumping equipment are doing increased business in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Briggs & Stratton's employees are working overtime and the company plans to hire more workers, according to chairman and CEO Todd Teske. Meanwhile, Pentair CEO Randall Hogan estimated the company will make $10 million in water pump and other product sales to customers affected by the superstorm in New Jersey and New York. Teske and Hogan are members of MAPI's executive committee. ABC News (11/6), Twin Cities Business (Minneapolis) (11/6)
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In the Industry
Survey: U.S. manufacturers expect increased revenue, slower growth
About 82% of senior executives at U.S. industrial manufacturing companies expect revenues to grow over the next 12 months, accounting and consulting firm PwC US reported in its Q3 2012 Manufacturing Barometer. However, the expected average growth rate dropped to 4.6% compared with 5.6% in the second quarter, the survey reported. More than two-thirds of respondents said a lack of demand would be the biggest barrier preventing growth over the next 12 months. IndustryWeek (10/25)
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Manufacturing helps boost Georgia's rebounding economy
The state of Georgia sees a future in manufacturing. Manufacturers in the state have added more than 10,000 jobs over the past two years, offer better-than-average pay and purchase many of their materials locally. "Manufacturing represents 92% of the state's exports," said Gretchen Corbin, the state's deputy commissioner for global commerce. "And I think we have small and large companies expanding in manufacturing." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required) (11/3)
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Acoustic monitoring system makes trains more reliable
RailBAM is an acoustic monitoring system for trains developed by Track IQ and marketed by Siemens. The system can detect damage to wheelset bearings long before a failure occurs, making the trains that use the system more reliable. RailBAM also extends maintenance intervals for powered wheelsets by 10% and for nonpowered wheelsets by 50%. Innovations-Report.com (11/5)
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Other News
Leadership and Strategy
Preston: CIOs must be both technical and well-rounded
Chief information officers should not apologize for being technical, and experience in developing architecture, applications, projects and systems is key, writes Rob Preston, InformationWeek's vice president and editor-in-chief. However, he also writes that CIOs must understand the other areas of their companies such as sales and logistics because they are in charge of building systems for them. InformationWeek (11/5)
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Jobs trends move toward creating a more skilled workforce
Industrial plant technician jobs are slated to grow at a rate of 11% through 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013. However, 93% of industrial positions are difficult or very difficult to fill because of a shortage of qualified workers. Colleges, training centers and unions are implementing programs to fill that gap. Manufacturing.net (11/5)
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Success is often just an idea away."
-- Frank Tyger,
American cartoonist, columnist and humorist
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The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, founded in 1933 and located in Arlington, VA, contributes to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing by providing economic research, professional development and an independent, expert source of manufacturing information. www.mapi.net
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