Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the 33rd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 35th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.That manufacturing index is the highest in 10 months and a full 1.8 points above expectations. 13 of 18 segments of manufacturers are also reporting an uptick in hiring in April compared to March, which could be a significant indicator of which way the April employment numbers are likely to move when those are released on Friday. Thanks to this piece of good news, the stock markets today shot up. The Dow just hit a four-year high.
[...] The PMI registered 54.8 percent, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from March's reading of 53.4 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 33rd consecutive month. Sixteen of the 18 industries reflected overall growth in April, and the New Orders, Production and Employment Indexes all increased, indicating growth at faster rates than in March. The Prices Index for raw materials remained at 61 percent in April, the same rate as reported in March.
What are the Republicans in Congress doing in light of a resurgent American manufacturing sector? They are trying their best to slow it down. As the president reminded Americans today:
As we speak, the House Republicans are refusing to pass a bipartisan bill that could guarantee work for millions of construction workers. Already passed the Senate. Ready to go, ready to put folks back to work. Used to be the most -- the easiest bill to pass in Washington used to be getting roads and bridges built, because it’s not like only Democrats are allowed to use these things. Everybody is permitted. Everybody needs them.Just as Europe is sliding back into recession thanks to their austerity economic policies - the same path Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and the Republican party wants to pursue here at home - the American economy continues to show signs of resilience, especially in the we-make-things-again sector, despite the best efforts of the Republican party to the contrary.
So let's talk, Mr. Romney. You and everyone representing your campaign say you want to talk about the economy. Fine. Let's talk about the economy. Let's talk about the Obama recovery that continues to make American manufacturing stronger, resulting in 33 straight months of growth. Let' talk about how you wanted to sell the American auto industry - the most crucial part of American manufacturing - down the river lest the hard working people who devoted their lives to making good, solid American cars be allowed to get a piece of ownership in the products they have poured their heart and soul into.
Let's talk about your and your party's opposition to anything and everything the president has done to help this economy and yes, manufacturing - whether it's the massive investment in infrastructure through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, keeping states afloat through the most difficult times, not just rescuing but restructuring the American auto industry from the Hummer to the Volt, investing in renewable energy technologies, investing in high speed rail, and of course, the transportation bill. Let's talk about the president's policies to rebuild an American consumer economy - by helping the middle class and the poor through extended unemployment benefits, a payroll tax cut, increasing investment in school lunches and student aid, expanding the earned income tax credit, and much more.
Let's contrast that with your party's budget priorities - namely the Paul Ryan budget that you have so warmly embraced. Here's what that piece of legislation would do for American manufacturing and the workforce that fuels American manufacturing: cut nearly a trillion dollars out of it. Specifically, it would cut (compared to 2010 levels):
- Education and training investment per capita by 48 percent
- Transportation infrastructure investment per capita by 28 percent
- Science and technology R&D investment per capita by 24 percent
To paraphrase Vice President Biden, bin Laden is dead, and American manufacturing is surging. Could we have used the same slogan in reverse if Mitt Romney were elected in 2008? I'm pretty sure that we could.