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Editorial: Manufacturing rises in U.S., falls in state
Thursday, January 31, 2013
There's some good news on the manufacturing front. The manufacturing index of the Institute for Supply Management jumped in December to 50.7 percent from 49.5 percent in November. Anything above 50 percent "indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding"; below that, it's contracting. The index tallies 18 industries on such factors as new orders, production, employment and supplier deliveries.

"The December number shows a moderate recovery from a moderate slow patch this year," Alan Tonelson told us; he's a research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industrial Council. "There's certainly no grounds for complacency."

The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported more good news. Durable goods, items designed to last three or more years, "in December increased $10.0 billion, or 4.6 percent, to $230.7 billion." Transportation equipment sold even better, rising 11.9 percent, to $75.9 billion. A question remains whether such purchases were made in the last month of 2012 to avoid generally higher taxes in 2013, meaning January's numbers could be down.

Mr. Tonelson said tax policy is one area that certainly could be improved. The new taxes just passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama need to be reviewed. "The taxes will hurt especially the small companies that belong to my organization. They will be taxed at the higher personal income tax rate" because many file their taxes as S corporations.

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