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Report on Import Penetration
Reveals Trouble in Some Manufacturing Sectors

Friday, January 11, 2008
The U.S. Business and Industry Council has just released its annual report on import penetration in domestic U.S. manufacturing. The study uses government data to reveal the degree to which imports have captured shares of the home markets for more 114 key U.S. manufacturing industries. Among its findings: Despite price advantages created by the weakening dollar, numerous U.S.-based manufacturers of high-tech and other capital-intensive products in 2006 lost record shares of their U.S markets to foreign-based competitors. Between 2005 and 2006, 79 of the 114 industries studied lost shares of the U.S. market to imports (import-penetration rates rose), and between 1997 and 2006, total import-penetration rate for all of the sectors grew by nearly 60 percent, says the report. Of the 79 sectors that lost U.S. market share in 2005-2006: semiconductors, aircraft, aircraft engines and engine parts, and machine tools. Another finding: 27 of the 114 sectors saw output fall (in non-inflation-adjusted terms) from 2005 to 2006. These sectors include farm machinery and equipment, motor-vehicle engines and engine parts, and special dies and tools. Adjusting for inflation expands the number of shrinking industries to 44. The report’s author is Alan Tonelson, USBIC is online at

Automotive-Executive Optimism on the Rise

Thursday, January 10, 2008
The number of automotive executives worldwide predicting an increase in global profits over the next five years rose from 16 percent two years ago to 26 percent, according to a new annual survey conducted by the accounting advisory firm KPMG LLP. The number predicting a decline in profits dropped from 28 percent 2 years ago to 14 percent. KPGM interviewed 113 executives from 11 countries, including the United States, Canada, India, China and Japan. Other findings: 86 percent of the executives believe that quality would be a leading factor influencing consumer purchase decisions, followed by fuel efficiency (84 percent), safety (70 percent) and affordability (69 percent). Learn more at

Rexcon Opens Facility in Alabama

Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Rexcon Controls and Automation, a division of Electrex Co., opened a facility in Irondale, AL. The firm, the exclusive partner for Wintriss/Honeywell systems, provides CAD automated system design, control retrofits, panel building, machine wiring and other services, and maintains a fleet of fully equipped service vehicles. Learn more at


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